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TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 



TWENTY YEARS OF 
LAWN TENNIS 

SOME PERSONAL MEMORIES 



BY 

A. WALLIS MYERS 



C.B.E. 



WITH A FRONTISPIECE 



LONDON: METHUEN & GO. LTD. 

NEW YORK 
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY 



TO 

SIR THEODORE COOK 



CONTENTS 

CHAP. PAGE 

I. ON AND OFF THE CENTRE COURT . . .1 

II. MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON . . .12 

III. ROUND THE HOME COURTS . . . .32 

IV. PLACES AND PLAYERS ON THE CONTINENT . . 53 
V. RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS . . . . .66 

VI. THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA . . . .84 

VII. AMERICA AND AMERICAN INVADERS . . . 103 

VIII. DAVIS CUP MATCHES . . . . .118 

IX. UNDER COVER . . . . . .146 

X. THE LESSON OF MLLE LENGLEN . . . 166 

INDEX . . . . . . .177 

The Frontispiece is from a Photograph by Elliott 6 s Fry Ltd. 



vii 



TWENTY YEARS OF 
LAWN TENNIS 

CHAPTER I 

ON AND OFF THE CENTRE COURT 

I MUST begin these reminiscences on a note of 
sadness. Wimbledon is passing ! Not the in- 
stitution which the world knows as the lawn 
tennis championships, but the ground hallowed by 
the history of the game a history shoemarked on its 
courts. 

It is rather a tragic thought, this uprooting of a 
shrine saluted for twoscore years and more by every 
disciple of lawn tennis in this country and by many 
a pilgrim from distant lands. After another June, 
or possibly two, dust-stained pedestrians, panting to 
reach the wicket gate, will cease to jostle each other 
on the railway footpath ; old ladies and young will 
cease to camp out in that uninspiring strip of unkempt 
roadway which connects the Worple Road with the 
gates of the All England Club ; waiting motor-cars 
will no longer convert a quiet and respectable neigh- 
bourhood into one great, inchoate garage. Inside the 
new ground we are promised an end to that amiable 
scrambling for seats, standing room, or tea which, 
while inconvenient on a hot day, was none the less 



LAWN TENNIS 

a traditional picnic which seemed in its very absence of 
ceremony to invest the occasion with a sporting spirit. 
Yet while we shall miss some of the old and familiar 
symbols at the new Wimbledon, we shall gain in many 
ways, not least by the thought that its coming is a 
sure tribute to the game's progress, a monument to its 
permanent popularity. 

For the present premises of the All England Club 
are inadequate to meet the demands both of the 
world's best players and those who come to see the 
world's best players play. When the game was young 
and (let us whisper it) its first champions a little old 
old enough at any rate to have become experts at 
tennis and racquets the three and a half acres in 
the Worple Road were sufficient to accommodate the 
brigade of tall-hatted city men and sportsmen who 
came down annually to applaud (and possibly gamble 
on) the programme. But even a few years later, 
when the Renshaw twins and Lawford were in their 
prime, and trains drew up on the flank of the courts, 
unloading passengers agog with excitement, elbow- 
room was a little scarce. That, of course, was long 
before the giant stands had been erected round the 
centre court. Eager sightseers raised themselves 
above their fellows on imported chairs, and even paid 
half a sovereign for a couple of bricks ! 

When was a new Wimbledon first conceived ? 
Probably a year or two before the Great War, when the 
champions of other countries as well as our own were 
making Wimbledon their annual battleground. The 
crowds became unwieldy in size, and spectators, offering 
their passbooks as security for seats, drew nothing but a 
courteous negative. The war only served to stem the 
flowing tide. If its strength was greater in 1914 (the 
year of Brookes and Wilding) than in 1913 (the year of 



ON AND OFF THE CENTRE COURT 3 

Wilding and McLoughlin), the pent-up waters burst 
their bonds in 1919 and 1920. Nearly four times as 
many seats, I was told, could have been sold for the 
last Championship meeting. I know not how many 
spectators, prepared to stand, stayed away because 
they knew that not even a ferret could squeeze 
through the centre court crowd. On the morning of 
the Tilden-Patterson match last July, having an 
engagement to play a private game with Commander 
Hillyard, yearning for a little exercise to relieve his 
secretarial cares, I had to pick my way over the bodies 
of those who, for several hours before and still to come, 
were waiting for the gates to open. The crush for the 
two years before and the two years after the war 
made a larger ground imperative. And when I recall 
the spacious grounds at Forest Hills, New York, at 
sylvan St. Cloud, and at the Wanderers' Club, 
Johannesburg, all of them well filled, I sometimes 
wonder how Worple Road has served its purpose so 
long. 

Forty-four years 1877 to 1921. It may be a 

brief span compared with Lord's or Henley. Only 

three British Sovereigns have reigned since the first 

champion was crowned at Wimbledon ! Lawn tennis 

is a mere infant beside the hoary giant of golf. No 

lawn tennis ball is ever likely to be discovered in the 

rafters of Westminster Hall, though monarchs, born 

long after the Tudor era, have pursued lawn tennis 

on courts which possess rafters. So sacrosanct was 

cricket In the early days of Wimbledon that the 

championships were adjourned over the Eton and 

Harrow match. Lawn tennis has its traditions, 

even its legends, but its greatness is of modern growth ; 

its ana goes no further back than garden parties of the 

early seventies. Yet there are no limbs like young 



4 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

limbs. Crowded into those brief forty-four years at 
Wimbledon, proof of the game's inherent virtues and 
of a development sure and strong, have been enough 
incident to fill a volume of readable history. 

No civilised country has been unrepresented on 
its lawns ; the centre court has been a clearing-house 
for the world's talent. First the purely domestic 
competition, with Renshaw supreme ; then the 
rivalry of Ireland, the advent of " Ghost " Hamilton 
and Pirn, and the latter's brilliant engagements with 
Baddeley ; next the coming of the Dohertys younger 
when they first stepped on the centre court than 
Tilden or Johnston and their almost unbroken reign 
for a decade ; the first oversea champion in Norman 
Brookes ; Gore's stubborn defence against the foreign 
invader for two years ; then Australasia's triumph, 
first through New Zealand and then through Australia 
again, for six years if we count the war's interregnum, 
for ten ; finally, the " break through " of America 
after a siege almost as old as the championship. It 
did not need the apotheosis of France at the instance 
of Mile Lenglen nor the appearance of Japan in the 
All Comers final last year nor of Germany in that of 
1914, to demonstrate that the lawn tennis champion- 
ship is the most cosmopolitan competition in the 
whole world. Wimbledon is indeed the university 
seat of a great game a game now claiming more 
votaries than any ball-game invented. 

My own personal visits to Wimbledon began in 
the late nineties, when R. F. Doherty was the reigning 
champion. I do not propose to speak of the earlier 
giants here ; some of their deeds have been narrated 
elsewhere. 1 But I had the privilege of playing against 
Pirn under cover at Queen's. It was a match with a 

1 See " Annals of Wimbledon " in The Complete Lawn Tennis Player. 



ON AND OFF THE CENTRE COURT 5 

tragic finish. Dr. Pirn, then a medical practitioner 
and using a rusty racket (for it was some time after 
his championship days), was partnered by his Irish 
compatriot, G. C. Ball-Greene. Dr. J. M. Flavelle 
was my .partner ; we had paired up at Scheveningen 
the previous summer. Having the hang of the floor, 
of which our opponents knew little, we managed to 
win two out of the first four sets. Darkness then 
descended, and the referee adjourned the final set 
until the morrow. This extra set threw out of gear 
a programme already arranged. Instead of finishing 
on the east or gallery court we were bidden to play 
on the west court, more confined in run-back. Nettled 
by this official decree, my partner, who had enlivened 
our dinner talk the previous night with his cosmo- 
politan experiences, so lengthened his drives that most 
of them sailed serenely out of court over the heads of 
the two Irishmen. There were other extravagances, 
and the set was soon over. In the intervening twenty 
years, Flavelle and I have enjoyed many a knock 
together. Pirn is now out of the match court a 
memory of brilliance shining without practice or effort. 
At his best, Pirn was superior to Wilfred Baddeley, as 
he was superior to any other man of his own era ; but 
since Baddeley was the essence of steadiness and a 
master of scientific method, while Pirn had natural 
genius summoned and exploited at will, the matches 
between these two, if below the standard of to-day, 
will always be remembered for their toughness and 
contrast of style. 

The Dohertys were the gentlemen of the centre 
court. They came to it first as Cambridge under- 
graduates, and throughout their long reign until the 
end the impression of unsophisticated chivalry, of 
the best university tradition, was preserved. Their 



6 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

demeanour, on court as well as off, was ever unassum- 
ing and free from " side." Just as their skill as 
players came unconsciously and without strain, so 
their manners as men were natural and without 
affectation. Others, more eager and rigorous in 
training, might deposit their towels, sponges, and 
stimulants on the umpire's ladder ; the Dohertys 
used nothing more formidable than a pocket-hand- 
kerchief, carried in the trousers pocket, and rarely, 
if ever, took refreshment between the sets. Their 
attitude to the officials of the court was that of 
quiet compliance. They never disputed an umpire's 
decision either by word or sign, nor betrayed annoy- 
ance if their opponents were less amenable. It was 
a sheer pleasure to play against them, nor was that 
pleasure ever qualified by defeat at their hands. On 
the very few occasions of their own defeat, I never heard 
either express resentment nor urge an extenuating 
circumstance, though it was well known that Reggie 
in his later matches had shed some of his physical 
ardour. Their influence over their fellow-players, 
while exerted quite unconsciously, was incalculable. 
Lawn tennis may have been a less exacting and less 
strenuous ordeal when they were in their prime ; it 
has never been played either before or since with more 
chivalrous sportsmanship. Nor could their irreproach- 
able demeanour fail to influence the crowd who watched 
them play and, beyond it, the public outside. As 
players they were, while champions, in a class apart ; 
as men and sportsmen they were typically of the best 
class. All who knew them intimately will testify to 
their personal charm. None will fail to regret their 
early death. I heard of Reggie's death in Cape Town. 
The South Africans honoured him as much as the 
members of the All England Club. Only two years 



ON AND OFF THE CENTRE COURT 7 

previously they had seen him win the South African 
championship without turning a hair and so gracefully 
that they would fain have kept him in their country 
for all time. What impressed them most, I think, was 
his ability to attract the ball to his own hand. Others 
might cover miles of territory, chasing his returns ; he 
would seem to be standing still. I believe it to be a 
fact that throughout the whole of George Hillyard's 
long tour, R. F. used the same pair of rubber shoes, 
while every other member of the team wore out several 
pairs. 

Speculation has often been raised as to which was 
the better of the two brothers. It is one of those 
questions, like the merits of classic horses, that can 
never be answered conclusively. Neither was a 
gladiator ; neither sought fame ; they rarely played 
each other a serious match ; you could only apply to 
them a relative test. Since Laurie was longer in the 
field, and therefore required to combat a game in- 
tensified by the specialists from overseas, his record 
is undoubtedly superior to Reggie's, and I think that, 
lighter in weight, faster on foot, and nimbler in attack 
and possibly in mind as well, he was the greater match 
player of the two. But as a perfect stylist, for ease 
and elegance of stroke play, for a quiet and natural 
genius which allowed him to place the ball exactly 
where it should go, to the maximum embarrassment 
of his opponent, for sheer instinctive aptitude, Reggie 
was first. Had Nature supplied him with a hardier 
physique, the few defeats which he sustained might 
never have occurred. Certainly he was not in a fit 
condition to defend his championship for the last time 
in 1901. Indeed, the match between Gore and George 
Hillyard in a previous round (a match which Hillyard 
has good cause to remember, for he lost it by a net- 



8 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

cord) was regarded, even at the time, as the gate to the 
throne. Reggie showed us in the first set how he 
could have beaten Gore again ; then his small reserve 
of stamina was exhausted and Gore's cannon-ball 
drives, shot unerringly into the corners, had their 
reward. Similarly, to leave the centre court for a 
moment, R. F.'s failure to win the American 
Singles Championship at Newport in 1902 was due to 
limitations of vitality. He had to finish off his final 
against Whitman (adjourned overnight) in the morning 
and then to tackle Larned, the holder, in the afternoon. 
On that day the linen collars of the spectators were 
converted into pulp ; the great heat, which Larned 
seemed to revel in, drained R. F.'s resources. Yet, 
though he did not meet the giants of to-day, 
Reggie was a peerless player. His backhand down 
the line, matchless in length and strength, is a 
classic stroke with a certain niche in the lawn tennis 
armoury. 

I had the good fortune to meet Laurie on the 
centre court once and elsewhere on many occasions ; 
and in one single at Monte Carlo in 1909, when he 
was not tuned up took a set from him to my great 
delight. Reggie I had only played in doubles, at 
Wimbledon and abroad. Much as I revered the play 
of both, I am bound to say that it never produced in 
me the same feeling of absolute personal futility as 
the play of Wilding or Brookes, each with his very 
different equipment. This is not to compare the 
merits of the Dohertys and their successors ; it is a 
personal impression based on the fact that the 
Dohertys were playing an orthodox game smoothly 
and faultlessly, whereas Brookes and Wilding, and 
more recently Tilden (whom I had the privilege to 
play at Edgbaston last year), waged a much more 



ON AND OFF THE CENTRE COURT 9 

strenuous fight and threw into it greater speed, both 
of stroke and of foot, and a greater resource. 

H. L. was the hero of many centre court com- 
bats. After he first won the championship in 1902 
he was never beaten at Wimbledon in a public single. 
I saw him wage all his matches. I remember vividly 
each phase of his encounter, so keenly anticipated, 
with Norman Brookes in '05. A new-comer to 
Wimbledon, armed with a sinister service, an in- 
scrutable countenance and a mien suggesting supreme 
confidence, the Australian had reached the challenge 
round over the dead bodies of Caridia, Hillyard, 
Riseley, Gore, and S. H. Smith. Only Smith really 
threatened (and almost stayed) his onward rush. 
Fifteen years ago, Brookes mainly employed a 
" googly " service into which he had been initiated 
by the wily Dr. Eaves at Melbourne, the " Doctor " 
returning quietly to England to back his fancy. 
Laurie, of course, had stood out of the All Comers, 
but his eyes and mind had not been idle. A tense 
crowd gathered to see this first really great inter- 
national single at Wimbledon. Doherty won in three 
sets, though the first was close and threatening. His 
two visits to America had inured him to the terrors 
of the break service ; he handled Brookes's deliveries 
with increasing confidence. Safer off the ground than 
his opponent, he was as well equipped on the volley 
and far more deadly overhead. He attacked the 
Australian's backhand corner (the forehand corner 
of a right-handed player) very adroitly, anticipating 
the angle of his reply and stowing away anything soft 
with definite finality. When Brookes was " the man 
in possession," H. L. would lob with beautiful precision 
into that same corner, forcing the entrenched volleyer 
to turn his back on the net. Brookes had a sore heel 



10 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

and did not serve perhaps with so much fire as in his 
previous matches ; moreover, he had borne the heat 
and burden of the All Comers struggle, from which 
H. L. had been exempt. Nevertheless, the better 
general and more versatile player earned his victory 
that day. Brookes was a sounder player two years 
later, when he came again and conquered in a field 
from which Doherty and Smith had retired ; and he 
was certainly a more subtle challenger still, with 
better ground strokes, in 1914, his third championship 
year. I do not think H. L. beat the best Brookes, 
just as Brookes in '14 did not beat the best Wilding. 
But the defeat of the invader in 1905 was a great 
feather in Laurie's cap almost the last to adorn his 
handsome head. 

H. L. played another volleyer on the same court a 
few weeks later Holcombe Ward, in the Davis Cup 
Challenge Round. The American was an even wider 
break server than Brookes and a perfect magician at 
low and stop volleys. While he had the strength to 
follow in his service, Ward was a very dangerous 
customer, and since he excelled himself on this 
occasion, Doherty found himself two sets down. This 
was a dramatic denouement', the Americans in the 
crowd held their breath. But Ward could not maintain 
the attack at such high pressure ; he dropped back, 
first a foot, then a yard, finally behind the service 
line. Quickly and confidently, H. L. went on to his 
inevitable triumph, losing only three games in the 
last three sets. 

Another American volleyer Ralph Little led him 
two sets to one a year later. A spent force, he was 
a beaten man in the fourth and fifth sets. Two days 
afterwards a third American, W. A. Larned, though 
not an inveterate volleyer like the other two, had a 



ON AND OFF THE CENTRE COURT 11 

lead of two sets to one against the champion. In 
acknowledging H. L.'s merit in these three encounters, 
one must not forget that the losers, playing under 
English rule, were deprived of their seven minutes 1 
rest given after the third set in America ; they were 
trained for the shorter distance. Nor can there be 
any question that Ward, Little, Larned, and Beals 
Wright (who came over the same year and beat both 
Brookes and Wilding at Wimbledon in the Davis Cup) 
were not the equals of the present-day Tilden and 
Johnston. None, with the possible exception of 
Larned, had the ground shots of these modern 
Americans. That fact should be borne in mind in 
estimating Tilden's chances against an H. L. of 1921. 




CHAPTER II 

MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 

,HE Dohertys trod the centre court as doubles 
champions for eight years ; save for two defeats 
at the hands of the Gloucestershire pair, S. H. 
Smith and Frank Riseley, they were supreme for a 
decade. By the perfect symmetry of their combined 
forces, by the severity of their service returns, their 
low volleying, R. F.'s service and H. L.'s deadly over- 
head play from any part of the court, they formed a 
great pair ; but it must not be supposed they were not 
in peril of defeat at Wimbledon, even in their champion- 
ship years. The brothers were required to play a five- 
set match against Nisbet and Roper Barrett in 1900. 
A year later they were fighting every inch of the court 
to save their titles against Dwight Davis and Holcombe 
Ward. This redoubtable American pair the first of 
the really great pairs to cross the Atlantic gave an 
enormous fillip to Wimbledon. They had served, 
smashed, and lobbed their way through to the challenge 
round 'mid the cheers of a dazzled crowd. But for 
the incidence of rain, it is possible they would have 
won the doubles championship. When the match 
was stopped, both sides had won a set and were games- 
all in the third. On the morrow the challenge round 
was played de novo. There was another long and fierce 
struggle, and the Dohertys just survived it. An even 
closer double was that in 1905 when the Dohertys 
met Ward and Wright in the Davis Cup at Wimbledon. 



MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 13 

Wright was a sounder volleyer than Davis ; the 
brothers must be given greater credit for this victory. A 
false step in the critical fifth set in which the Americans 
held the lead, and they would have gone down. As 
it was, Ward hit the net when making a simple smash 
one of those tragic blunders (of which I witnessed a 
parallel in Boston nine years later when Parke was 
playing Brookes) that, occurring when they do, are 
never forgotten. The following year and this was 
surely the forerunner of impending disaster the 
brothers were in some jeopardy against Ward and 
Little, who, in a four-set match, won twenty-three 
games to their thirty. 

Of the two occasions when the colours of the 
Dohertys were lowered on the centre court and by 
the same pair on each I retain a vivid recollection. 
In neither match was R. F. at his best ; the machine, 
if not out of gear, was faulty. In between their two 
reverses the brothers had defeated Smith and Riseley 
on three successive occasions with something to spare. 
In 1906, when the brothers played together for the last 
time at Wimbledon, the elder Doherty was but a 
shadow of his former greatness. He was not only 
lobbing short and allowing Riseley to enjoy what E. G. 
Meers used to call a " meal at the net/' but he was 
being lobbed over himself by Smith, who on that day 
tossed to perfection. This frailty on the part of Reggie 
had its debilitating effect on Laurie's play. Ever the 
wheel-horse of the team, he worked heroically to stave 
off disaster, but, with his brother incapacitated, he 
was asked to pull more than his weight. There was a 
similar, and even worse, disaster at Nice two years 
later when, returning as a pair for the last time to 
open competition, the brothers were beaten by Ritchie 
and Wilding. 



14 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Let it not be inferred I am disparaging the great 
performance of Smith and Riseley. Riseley in 1906 
proved himself to be the second best player in England 
(he beat Gore both at Leicester and Wimbledon), and 
it will always be something of a mystery why he was 
not selected as a reserve member of the Davis Cup 
defending team. In the doubles challenge round he 
was inspired, and so deadly was his right arm on the 
serve and volley that, stricken with neuritis, it could not 
be lifted again in play for some years. In the orthodox 
English school Riseley always shone, but he did not 
possess Smith's ability, as he did not employ Smith's 
method of driving, to hit the break service as forcefully 
as the plain. Riseley retired from Wimbledon before 
the oversea giants mustered in their prime, though he 
made a welcome return in 1919. He was thus less 
tested than some of his contemporaries, but while he 
was a great player, he was not one of the greatest. 

I come now to three or four figures who, though 
only one of them won the singles championship and 
that on three occasions, are associated inseparably 
with the centre court of the twentieth century. The 
first is A. W. Gore, and when I contemplate that last 
year this Nestor of Wimbledon made his twenty- 
ninth consecutive appearance in the All Comers 
singles, I marvel at the hardihood oi our race. Gore 
won a big London tournament before Tilden was born ; 
he first played in the challenge round at Wimbledon 
when Johnston was five years old ; he won his third 
championship at the age of forty-one, and that was a 
dozen years ago. All of his great centre court combats 
are pigeon-holed in my memory. The lines of the 
arena were surely laid down for his drives to hit, so 
unerringly did he raise chalk. With an elongated 
arm which seemed to have no joint between the 



MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 15 

human shoulder and the racket-head, he drove the ball 
diagonally from his own backhand corner into his 
opponent's. In vain would the uninitiated and some 
of them were foreign champions baste his backhand. 
To be forewarned was to be forearmed. Gore had 
an amiable habit of running round these shots and 
returning them with far greater speed to the backhand, 
alleged to be stronger, of his opponent. More experi- 
enced antagonists, avoiding this decoy, fed his forehand 
in the hope, rarely realised, that it would tire and 
lose its accuracy. 

I shall never forget Gore's successful defence of 
his title in 1909. His challenger was Ritchie who, in 
a domestic year, by dint of fine victories over Roper 
Barrett and Dixon, seemed destined to have his name 
enrolled among the elect. I had been Ritchie's guest 
on his house-boat at Laleham-on-Thames the night 
before this match. Motoring to Wimbledon on the 
great day, something went wrong with the car. It 
was nothing very serious, but the owner had to use 
his right arm vigorously to restart the engine. I 
remember expressing some distress at the incident 
at the time. Did this little contretemps have any 
effect on the Challenger when, with the match and 
title seemingly in his grasp, he found himself being 
slowly overhauled by the holder? Rarely did tide 
turn so completely. Gore had seemed to be in ex- 
tremis. He stopped at the umpire's chair at the end 
of every other game to sponge his face and arms ; 
often his hand would go to his side as if collapse were 
imminent ; the points were being piled up against 
him. Then, with two sets in hand and a lead of two- 
love in the third set, Ritchie began to falter. Gore 
seized his chance with both hands, and, with that 
adamant fortitude for which he has always been 



16 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

famous, drove himself into security and a third 
championship. Ritchie for some time did not see 
defeat ahead. Gore saw victory from the moment 
he had drawn level and forged ahead in the third set. 
In the fifth set he was dominating the court and 
finished as if he could have tackled a sixth. 

Another, and perhaps greater, triumph for Gore 
was his victory over Gobert in the final of the All 
Comers in 1912. Gore was then forty-four years of 
age, exactly twice as old as his French opponent, at 
that time mounting to greatness on his splendid 
service and beautiful volleying. Gobert led 5-3 in 
the third set, each man having won a set. He only 
won one more game in the whole match ! The 
younger man made the fatal mistake of attempting 
to play a prince of drivers from the back of the court. 
Gore had lured him into that position by a few clean 
passing shots and adroit lobs, and then teased him 
into extravagance on the base-line there was some- 
thing of the cat and mouse about it all. A fortnight 
later at Folkestone, in the Davis Cup singles, Gobert 
had his revenge, fully justifying the high hopes of his 
countrymen. 

To return for a moment to his centre court struggle. 
Emerging from it triumphant but exhausted, Gore 
repaired to a tent and there for some time lay prone 
on a table with his eyes closed. Unconscious of his 
presence, I chanced to enter this sanctuary. The 
" dead man " opened his eyes and I held out my hand 
in congratulation. He shook it warmly, and when 
I add that he and I had been adrift for a week or 
two owing to an incident in Sweden, now buried 
beyond recall, my satisfaction may be imagined. A 
day or two later Gore made an heroic stand for his 
title against Wilding and nearly carried the match 



(MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 17 

into a fifth set. Of all fighters on court he was the 
most stubborn ; the men who have beaten him at 
Wimbledon may deem themselves great. 

One of the strangest anomalies on the champion- 
ship roll is that the name of Gore should appear three 
times, whereas that of S. H. Smith is missing alto- 
gether. Not only was Smith's record against the 
great Americans superior to Gore's ; H. L. Doherty 
always considered him his most dangerous English 
opponent ; and there is little doubt that as a base-line 
player, opposed either to an aggressive volleyer or to 
a man using his own weapons, Smith possessed greater 
ability. Why did this famous driver fail to secure 
the crown at Wimbledon ? There were probably two 
reasons, each interlaced. Smith was a native of 
Stroud and, unlike Gore, not a regular denizen of 
the centre court ; the environment was strange to 
him, and he came to it without a key to its subtle 
mysteries. Then, too, Smith usually arrived at 
Wimbledon after a strenuous week at the Northern 
Championships. By the vagaries of the Lancashire 
climate these were played almost invariably on a 
soft court ; it was a drastic transition to the hard, 
unyielding surface of Wimbledon. That there was 
something in these June conditions in the south to 
militate against Smith's success is emphasised by the 
fact that when the Davis Cup singles followed in July 
and he had had time to get acclimatised he was 
much more certain on the drive much more, in fact, 
the very best Smith. Even so, it is amazing that he 
should only once have reached the challenge round 
and only twice have appeared in the final of the All 
Comers. Some of his contemporaries, admittedly 
below him, were familiar figures in the last stages. 
How often Smith led the field at Eastbourne, 



18 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Edgbaston, Newcastle,, and Newport ! His giant 
figure was an annual Saturday afternoon feature ; 
even at Devonshire Park the younger Doherty, 
after running what he described picturesquely as " a 
hundred mile race/' had to admit defeat in the end. 
At Wimbledon, Smith will go down to fame as the 
terror of the American volleyers. He did not meet 
players so well equipped as Tilden and Johnston, but 
Holcombe Ward and Little made no secret of their 
preference for H. L. Doherty as an opponent. " You 
cannot play Smith from the back of the court," they 
used to say. " If you go to the net he passes you like 
a knife going through butter. " Nor can one forget 
that in 1905 when, on his first visit to Wimbledon, 
Brookes was making his dramatic advance through 
the All Comers, Smith so nearly beat him in the final. 
Indeed, but for the fact that one of his drives fell a 
ball's breadth over the side-line at a critical stage in 
the fifth set, the Englishman would probably have 
carried the day. A month later at Edgbaston, on a 
court more to his taste, I saw Smith beat Brookes. 

If Gore's longevity on the lawn tennis court excites 
wonder, that of Roper Barrett is almost as marvellous. 
In fact, since Barrett was selected a member of the 
British International Team last year a distinction 
which he first enjoyed twenty years earlier I am not 
sure that his record does not eclipse his old partner's. 
After the Renshaws and the Dohertys, and until the 
oversea stars illuminated the firmament, Barrett was 
the greatest draw Wimbledon ever had. This attrac- 
tion, I think, was more a tribute to his personality and 
to his strategic brain than to the quality of his actual 
strokes. He has never been the classic artist in the 
sense that the Dohertys, McLoughlin, or Brookes were ; 
he had not the perfect drives of the first two, nor 



MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 19 

the spectacular service of the last two. Nevertheless, 
he possessed what none of these four champions 
revealed in the same measure a capacity for cunning 
court-craft calculated to embarrass even the greatest 
in the land. He was, and remains, a prince of 
tacticians, ever ready to decoy the unsuspecting into 
a death-trap ; a master of varied length and strength, 
using for his wiles the zone in front of the net just as 
much as the more orthodox base-line territory ; and, 
withal, showing a fortitude and a nerve that revelled 
in an uphill fight and rarely waged a fifth set without 
winning it. 

So many Barrett matches crowd to mind, it is 
difficult to select those outstanding. In singles his 
nearest escape from winning the championship was in 
1908. Though not fully fledged that year, Wilding 
was the favourite for the event. Barrett beat him 
" all ends up " in an early round, using the lob and the 
short drop with sinister effect. Barrett was the b&te 
noire of most young players ; even Wilding's resolute 
and unruffled front were not proof against him, 
although, when he strengthened his smashing and 
backhand a year or two later, the ugly fence was 
usually carried. With a little more luck in the challenge 
round against Gore, and perhaps with another corps 
of linesmen, Barrett would have been champion. He 
felt the need, however, of a service which his opponent, 
by years of practice, could not handle with power and 
purpose, and one must not forget that Gore in a decisive 
fifth set had a heart as stout as Barrett's. While this 
nimble strategist could make little headway against 
Brookes, who was more of his own age, he could 
always be relied upon to rattle the younger giants, and 
such players as Wilding, McLoughlin, and Patterson 
were unmistakably pleased when their ordeal was over. 



20 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

It is a singular coincidence that both Wilding and 
McLoughlin, in the years when each won the All 
Comers, should have met Barrett in the first round. 
In both cases the experience was nearly fatal. Indeed, 
the American had to wage five anxious sets before he 
could put the spectre behind him, and I shall always 
consider that the manner in which Barrett handled 
the Californian's destructive service in this contest 
a weapon he was asked to combat for the first time 
redounded to his infinite credit. And even though 
Patterson did not forfeit a set to Barrett in 1919, the 
nature of the first set, in which the Englishman held 
a strong winning lead, suggested that, given his pre- 
war legs, Barrett would have been almost equal to 
the task in hand. 

Valiant as Barrett's record has been in singles on 
the centre court, it is as a doubles player that his name 
and fame will chiefly be cherished in public memory. 
In this department he has been the hero of a hundred 
fights some of them, it is true, entered into when the 
weapons of modern lawn tennis were not quite so 
keenly polished as they are to-day and when the demand 
for mobility was not so insistent. Yet, even in the 
last two years, after the war had made " old men " 
seem so much " older/' this player shone in the highest 
company. Both at Queen's and at Norwood in 1920 
he took sets from the American players, none of 
whom were born when he first handled a racket. 
For positional skill, tactical finesse, and the ability to 
place the ball in the most inconvenient spot for his 
opponents and for anticipating and profiting by their 
reply, Barrett was unequalled. His was the live brain 
behind the racket, the man who created openings by 
his own enterprise and invariably took them when they 
occurred ; a fighter to the finger-tips and an adversary 






MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 21 

who never gave quarter. I do not doubt that some 
of his success was due to the moral factor. He per- 
suaded those on the opposite side of the net, especially 
young foreigners, that there was no escape from the 
net spread to catch them. 

Barrett was never more dangerous than when a 
strong winning lead was against him. Such situations 
he revelled in, never overlooking the fact that men 
are often slack when they think themselves most 
secure. There will always remain in my memory 
and the echo of it exists in my ears the dramatic 
victory which Gore and Barrett achieved over Brookes 
and Wilding at Wimbledon in the Davis Cup challenge 
round in 1907. The Australians with scant ceremony 
had won the first two sets in a canter ; and with 
Brookes serving at 5-4 in the third set only a stroke 
was needed for immediate possession of the Davis 
Cup. The plum was in their mouths. It was dashed 
from them with a vigour as surprising as it was 
thorough. The match did not end until another hour 
and twenty minutes had elapsed, and by that time 
the British pair, 'mid a scene of intense excitement, 
had scrambled home at 13-11 in the final set. In my 
mind yet I can see the fine lobs of Gore sailing over 
Wilding's head, and the perpendicular racket of the 
ubiquitous Barrett covering the net, the mind of its 
owner conceiving and countering his opponents' every 
move. Six years later, in another Davis Cup chal- 
lenge round, Barrett, this time partnered by Dixon, 
very nearly achieved the same coup. Hackett and 
McLoughlin were within a stroke of defeat, and if Dixon 
could have made a service return out of McLoughlin's 
reach, the Davis Cup would (as the following day's 
play indicated) have remained in England. In this 
tie, however, the Americans were rather slim and 



22 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

McLoughlin was magnificent. Paying Barrett the 
compliment of neglect, they had trained all their guns 
on to Dixon. C. P. chanced to be playing very well 
the design did not succeed. But when, more by 
accident than purpose, they began to lob Barrett, the 
way to possible victory was revealed. This match 
had its tensely dramatic moment. It was the fourth 
set, and England was leading in it by five games to 
three. They wanted only one more game for victory. 
To use my own words written after the match : " At 
this crisis the Americans showed their fine resolution ; 
neither flinched, and McLoughlin was as ready to go 
out for and achieve a winning drive as at any period 
of the match. Barrett's service, its deceptive softness 
of no avail, was won to love. McLoughlin's service 
followed, and should have prevailed from thirty, but 
when smashing an easy ball at 40-30 the American 
broke a string of his racket. The incident was dis- 
tinctly unlucky, and coming at so critical a stage 
might have been fatal. Missing another smash with 
a new racket (he was allowed, by the way, to serve a 
trial ball), McLoughlin was faced with 'vantage against 
him only a point separated the holders from victory. 
There was a breathless silence. McLoughlin served 
to Dixon and volleyed his return straight and true 
through the English pair. Then, with immediate 
danger past, he served two splendid balls which 
won the tenth game." Seldom has finer battle-nerve 
been seen at Wimbledon. 

Barrett has had many worthy partners in the 
course of a quarter of a century H. A. Nisbet, G. M. 
Simond, Gore, and Dixon, to name perhaps the chief 
four. It is surely a tribute to his individual talent 
that he should have done best with the player who 
was, both by stroke and disposition, much more of 



MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 23 

a singles than a doubles player. Like Smith and 
Riseley a slightly superior combination at their best 
Gore and Barrett often violated a canon of doubles 
play, that the two allies should assume a parallel 
formation, forming a concrete, if movable, wall against 
their opponents. In truth, Smith and Gore volleyed 
much more, and very often with greater effect, than 
public opinion credited. But the fact that both men 
were so deadly off the ground, and drove so finely 
either between the two volleyers opposite or at their 
feet as they were coming in, was an asset of priceless 
value. Both Riseley and Barrett, intrepid poachers 
as they were, would probably declare that, had the 
formation been more orthodox, its success would have 
been less assured. Certainly the crowds at Wimbledon 
would have enjoyed fewer thrills. 

I must not omit to mention one or two other home 
players who, though not champions, have left their 
mark on the centre court. The ever-lamented Dr. 
Eaves was at the height of his form before the twentieth 
century he was one of the few men who came within 
a stroke of the championship only to see the great 
prize slipping away but he was a familiar and ever 
a doughty competitor almost up to the war's advent. 
A Wimbledon without the spruce and dapper figure 
of this fine student of form, ever ready to back his 
opinion in good coin of the realm and bearing good 
fortune and bad with the same worldly philosophy, 
is, I confess, not quite the same thing. Virtually the 
discoverer of Brookes, he also did much to mature 
Wilding's skill. All of those who followed his tips 
for improvement lived to bless his name. An in- 
veterate volleyer himself, he insisted, with genial 
emphasis, that volleying was the only profitable line 
under modern conditions. " Get on top of the net 



24 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

and stay there," he would say. " Don't let the other 
man enjoy the best view of your court while you can 
see next to nothing of his, and that little obscured by 
his body. Go up and attack ! " It was a gospel 
for the young and strong, of course, but then Eaves 
was never blind to the great athletic advance of lawn 
tennis in the past fifteen years. He could see, as 
others declined to see, that the days of long base-line 
rallies were gone. And now this very wise counsellor 
and best of good fellows has left us. 

I have already mentioned Ritchie's close proximity 
to the championship, and elsewhere about this volume 
will be found a reference to this fine and much-travelled 
player, nearly as good at the age of fifty as he ever 
was. Ritchie only won the All Comers singles once, 
but he was in the final for three successive years (1902 
to 1904), and even as recently as 1919, after the long 
war interregnum, he reached the semi-final, and in 
that round was the only player in the whole competi- 
tion to take a set from Patterson. No man living 
has played more lawn tennis than this hard-grained 
expert of the British school. I saw him beat H. L. 
Doherty both at Monte Carlo and Queen's, and always 
regret I was not in Boston, U.S.A., when he beat 
Beals Wright. Smith, Gore, Mahony, George Hillyard, 
Greville all the English and Irish giants of the decade 
before the last tasted defeat at his hands at one time 
or another. Even last June he was good enough to 
overcome R. N. Williams, the American ex-champion, 
on a soft court at Queen's. I have heard Ritchie 
described as a base-liner. If this means he has sound 
ground shots on both wings, all of them produced in 
the best way, it is true, but it is still only half the 
truth. Ritchie is also a sound volley er not spectacular 
like Karl Behr nor a player who does not prefer to 



MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 25 

stay back ; yet a driver who, if the occasion demands, 
can hit as hard " on the fly " as anyone and push 
home an advantage very adroitly at the net. The 
greatest of Ritchie's victories have been achieved by 
timely volleying notably that over H. L. Doherty 
under cover at Queen's. Denied the highest honours 
in singles, his forte, Ritchie has twice been doubles 
champion with Wilding, and each time the cap has 
been merited. Wilding's vigour in all departments 
was a factor, but not less valuable than his partner's 
supreme steadiness and an ability to toss well at the 
right moment which has never been equalled. Given 
a partner in whom he has complete confidence not 
always an easy man to find, by the way and Ritchie 
can play a very good double indeed. At Wimbledon he 
will always be remembered as a stout-hearted, if some- 
what dour, fighter. " Do you know any of the leading 
players ? " a youth was overheard to ask his com- 
panion at the championships. " Well, not exactly," 
was the reply ; " but Ritchie asked me the time 
yesterday as he was stepping into his motor." 

I come now to the reign of the Australasians an 
uninterrupted reign since 1910 until last year, if we 
exclude the war suspension. Brookes was first 
champion in 1907, as I have mentioned, and no player 
deserved the title more than this grim and knowledge- 
able Australian. But Norman Brookes did not come 
again until 1914, and in the meantime the oversea 
flag was hoisted at Wimbledon by Wilding, who had 
been tugging at the ropes for some years. He became 
champion for the first time in 1910, after an anxious 
first-round engagement with Barrett, a battle-royal 
with Beals Wright in the final, and a sterner encounter 
with Gore in the challenge round than he expected. 
Until the eve of the Great War, when Brookes beat 



26 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

him in his last single at Wimbledon, the New Zealander 
kept his title intact. It was in serious jeopardy both 
in 1911 and 1913. On the first occasion, with the 
centre court resembling a baker's oven, Barrett took 
him to two sets all before retiring an absolutely 
exhausted challenger, though the holder was nearly 
as distressed. This match was almost farcical in its 
lack of sustained aggression. Barrett would draw 
Wilding to the net with an insidious drop ; then when 
the ball, just reached, came slowly back, would send 
up a balloon shot over Wilding's head. Back would 
dash the holder in pursuit. So the game of pitch 
and toss went on a kind of bumble-puppy with half 
the crowd cheering their favourite tactician and the 
other half conscious that the standard of play was 
abnormally low. I should never think of blaming 
Barrett for this adroit manoeuvring ; it was quite 
legitimate according to the rules, and half the secret 
of success at lawn tennis is an unexpected variety of 
tactics, aiming at disconcerting your opponent. But 
I remember that I had to leave the stands and search 
for a passing breeze outside. There, in the great 
silent void, I met the husband of a former lady 
champion an old habitue" of Wimbledon. "What 
do you think of it ? " I asked. " A good turn for the 
Palace/' was his laconic reply. But in the tropical 
heat of that day more enervating, as Wilding told 
me afterwards, than any heat of Australia orthodox 
hard hitting was almost impossible. 

In 1913 the challenger was McLoughlin, that 
youthful, red-haired giant from California who capti- 
vated the crowd as much by his personality as by his 
play. Like Brookes in 1905, McLoughlin had swept 
through the British ranks, gaining, as it seemed, more 
strength and confidence with each successive victory. 



MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 27 

Every American, and not a few judges in this country, 
supported his chance in the last match of all. Per- 
sonally I favoured Wilding, not only because I knew 
he was trained as never before, but because only a fort- 
night previously I had seen him defeat Gobert, armed 
with a service just as dangerous, in Paris. When 
the great test came, Wilding was superb in every 
department. Threatened and pressed all through he 
never once gave ground ; his return of the service 
was absolutely faultless ; he found the weakness on 
McLoughlin's backhand and never left it. As Wilding 
played in this match on that day and he never 
played quite so well either before or since I do not 
believe any player who ever stepped on the centre 
court would have beaten him. How different from the 
Wilding of a year later ! Mr. Balfour, no mean judge 
of the game, told me in 1914 that he could not believe 
it was the same player. Well, Wilding was not keyed- 
up to concert pitch, either physically or morally, in 
1914. I do not deny the splendid play of Brookes 
an artist where Wilding was only an athlete but 
the Australian did not beat the best Wilding that day, 
and he knew it 

The war's black reaper cut deep into the ranks of 
lawn tennis players. Among the first to volunteer 
for service and among the earliest to sacrifice their 
lives at the call of duty were two who first paired up 
together as Cambridge undergraduates Anthony 
Wilding and Kenneth Powell. Only the Dohertys 
beat them at Fenner's ; as triers they were un- 
equalled at Cambridge. I bracket them together here 
because, though Wilding went higher up the ladder 
of fame than Powell having greater opportunities for 
advance and perhaps a sterner zeal they typify in 
their respective personalities, which were quite dis- 



28 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

tinct, all that is good and strong in British athletics. 
Assuredly two such admirable sportsmen will retain a 
permanent place in our memories. 

An interval of five years and Gerald Patterson is 
enthroned. We may admit that he won his crown 
under abnormal conditions, before the competing 
nations had had time to shake free from their war 
harness, even before the echo of exploding bombs had 
quite died away. Neither our own leading players 
(most of them nearer forty than thirty, and one or two 
of them sighting fifty), nor the American ex-officers 
who crossed from France to compete, were in full 
practice or anything like it ; their muscles were un- 
loose, their eye out of focus, their staying power 
doubtful. Nevertheless, we must not forget that the 
Melbourne youth who dominated the centre court on 
his first visit to it had himself borne the heat and 
burden of the military fight, winning distinction in 
the field. Nor can his record of 1919 be challenged as 
something quite unique in lawn tennis annals. After 
reaching the final in the covered court championship 
at Queen's, and there, on a floor ill-suited to his game, 
losing to P. M. Davson, Patterson went through all 
his tournaments in this country, including Wimbledon 
and Surbiton, with the loss of only one set to Ritchie 
on the centre court. Twice he beat Barrett in three 
sets ; Brookes, Kingscote, Gobert, Mavrogordato, and 
Doust were all defeated without one of them winning a 
set. Crossing to America, Patterson took the winner 
of the American singles championship into five-all in the 
fifth set. At Sydney two months later he won all his 
Davis Cup matches against this country. In doubles, 
partnered by Brookes, he only suffered one reverse. 
This, by fortune's decree, was in the competition he 
most coveted the championship at Wimbledon. It 



MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 29 

was a result which even now I cannot quite explain. 
Possibly the protracted tension of watching the finest 
ladies' single ever fought on the centre court just before 
meeting O'Hara Wood and Thomas upset Patterson's 
aim ; it may be that the sustained aggression of his 
two compatriots they seemed to be entrenched on 
the net the whole time was unexpected. Brookes 
and Patterson were beaten squarely that day by an 
inspired team, but both the manner and method of 
their previous victories over the same team in England 
suggested the surprise. After losing the British 
doubles, Brookes and Patterson went on to Boston to 
win the American. A boy of sixteen was one of their 
opponents in the challenge round ; this youth and 
Tilden forced the battle into five sets. 

On the whole, then, any disparagement of 
Patterson's game in 1919, founded on his almost 
humiliating defeat of 1920, is not justified. He was 
at some disadvantage last July. Brookes was not at 
Wimbledon to encourage and coach his pupil; the 
holder made the fatal error of playing no public single 
before he met Tilden ; he faced an opponent gifted with 
the cutest brain as well as the surest touch, a challenger 
exalted by the ecstasy of successive triumphs and the 
environment in which they were achieved. There is 
some irony in the thought that, buoyed up to some 
extent in the same way, Patterson should have defeated 
the holder, his own mentor, in the challenge round of 
1919, only to find himself the strategic inferior to 
Tilden, in Brookes's absence, a year later. 

Tilden's championship may very well prove as 
epoch-making as any new precedent set up in a pro- 
gressive age. For one thing, it meant the consum- 
mation, at long last, of America's ambition. The 
Clarke brothers (pioneers in knickerbockers), James 



30 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Dwight, Wrenn, Holcombe Ward, Beals Wright, 
Larned, Clothier, McLoughlin, and Williams all had 
laid gallant siege to the citadel, some more than once. 
Each had been repulsed until William Tilden, on his 
first visit to Europe at the age of twenty-seven, burst 
the barrier. 

Tilden did his job in the most sporting way 
possible. He was cheery, chivalrous, confident a 
popular idol. Only once was he seriously threatened 
with disaster, though Shimidzu, that mystic, nimble- 
footed envoy from Japan, hunted him all the way 
home. His most exacting match was with Kingscote 
in the third round, a match heroically saved by the 
Englishman when the American was within a stroke 
of victory and a match in which, for some games at 
any rate, Kingscote was calling the tune. Rain 
damped the court at two-all in the fifth set ; both 
men shod themselves with steel points. This was 
Tilden' s home footgear, and extra confidence seemed 
to come into his game in consequence. Certainly in 
the last three games he made a series of ground shots, 
dazzling in their daring, which had not been exploited 
before. In that fifth set, as in the fifth set against 
Johnston two months later in New York, Tilden 
revealed his championship mettle. 

His triumph was something more than personal. 
Tilden and his compatriots of last summer Johnston, 
Williams, and Garland, the last two, a scratch pair, 
winning the doubles championship exposed a fallacy 
and restored a tradition. They were, each and all 
with varying aptitude, whole-court players not 
service specialists nor inveterate volleyers nor base- 
line drivers, but a blend of all three. Thus, while 
they took something away, they also left something 
behind. Better trained physically, hitting the ball 






MORE MEMORIES OF WIMBLEDON 31 

with more aggression, returning the service on the rise 
and thus saving time, more alert in anticipation and 
more resourceful at the net, they were superior to the 
specialists of their own and other countries. They 
retained the essence of former specifics while adding 
something that was new and valuable. They have 
not yet advanced all the way ; they are still learn- 
ing and improving. The successful American in- 
vasion of last year calls for no lamentation. It 
should have a great influence on the game in this 
country, not only at Wimbledon but on every court in 
the kingdom. 



CHAPTER III 

ROUND THE HOME COURTS 

IT is only the weak for whom the world is too 
strong. When one contemplates that lawn 
tennis was born in England less than fifty years 
ago a conservative England with its games and 
pastimes deeply rooted in the soil and in the hearts 
of the people its steady development and present 
strength are astonishing, suggesting, one cannot 
doubt, that the core of the game is sound and its 
virtues real. I read in the last annual report of the 
Lawn Tennis Association that 130 open tournaments 
were held under its aegis in 1920, and that the average 
field at each of these meetings was 120 competitors. 
Eastbourne catered for 1298 matches last September, 
little more than a year after Peace was officially 
signed at the end of the world's greatest war. In 
1883 at Eastbourne there were only 114 matches on 
the programme ; there were 384 in 1893, 571 in 1903, 
and 1249 m I 9 I 3- Other popular tournaments can 
show a relative development. If we remember that, 
in many cases, the war disintegrated the machinery 
and dispersed the executive (many organisers sacri- 
ficing their lives in the great adventure), the recovery 
of the tournament immediately after the war is re- 
markable ; the fact that new records have been 
established is even more noteworthy. 

Nor must we judge alone by open tournaments. 
These, after all, only exhibit the cream of competitive 



ROUND THE HOME COURTS 83 

skill, though enthusiasts have been known in the past 
to enter at Wimbledon and elsewhere for the sole 
purpose of securing a seat in the competitors' stand. 
Behind the array of tournament players is a much 
larger army of club and private court players, and 
behind these again an increasing number of citizens 
who use the courts in public parks and open spaces. 
The great expansion in all directions, as manufacturers 
of lawn tennis goods will testify, is of comparatively 
recent growth. The flowing tide, while always per- 
ceptible, after the Dohertys had arrested a decline, 
took a violent sweep forward when the American 
servers and volleyers came over in sequence early in 
the new century, and when these were followed by 
the Australasians, the French, the Germans, and 
other Continental envoys, a new scope and vitality 
were given to the game. I remember thinking the 
high -water mark had been reached in 1913 when 
McLoughlin came; the crowds were even larger in 
1914, when Brookes came again; and then, after 
five years' suspension, the game witnessed a boom 
that few expected and certainly none had catered 
for. 

And yet, was this great appetite for play, visible 
both among men and women, this passion to see Tilden 
and Mile Lenglen perform, very surprising after all ? 
Britain, by instinct a sporting country, had virtually 
suppressed its sport for four and a half years. What 
more natural than this pent-up force, at length re- 
leased, should burst forth with ungovernable vigour ? 
Again, the war's all-powerful magnet, the physical and 
moral appeal of the national peril, loosened the moor- 
ings of humanity ; it drew men and women from their 
homes and made them all adventurers in new lands. 
Dire perils and discomforts were encountered, but so 
3 



34 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

too were new interests and new joys. Among units 
of the Empire and among the races of our Allies there 
was a daily conversazione an intermingling of people 
unparalleled in the world's history. It was in- 
evitable that common bonds of interest, links between 
one country and another, should be sought for and 
treasured. Lawn tennis chances to be the most 
cosmopolitan ball-game in the world. A racket is as 
good as a passport in almost every civilised foreign 
city. In the breathing intervals of the war the young 
soldiers of the great international army, fighting for 
freedom, often made the game a theme for com- 
munity and a topic for conversation. 

Since there were courts and lawn tennis players in 
every town, the chief residents rarely failed to know 
something about the game and its better-known expon- 
ents. Three or four incidents stand out in my mind in 
this connection. While on Foreign Office business in 
1917, I found myself hung up in Havre, waiting for a 
Paris train. I went to the British Consulate knowing 
that the cheery Consul, Mr. Harry Churchill, would 
tell me all the local news. Lawn tennis never entered 
my head, but he said, after a few official preliminaries, 
" Oh, by the way, we have both R. B. Powell and Mavro- 
gordato quartered in Havre. My daughter is quite 
excited ; she has seen them both play at Wimbledon. 
Would you like me to see if I can track them on the 
telephone ? JJ I accepted this kindness immediately, 
and having taxied out to the Canadian Camp, found 
R. B., returned to town with him on a lorry, and lunched 
at the Continental. We repaired to the French club, 
where Mavrogordato joined us. Two or three months 
later Powell was killed near Vimy. But for the fact 
that the British Consul's daughter played lawn tennis, 
I should never have run across my friends and ex- 



ROUND THE HOME COURTS 85 

changed with the ever-genial " Bobby " memories of 
our strenuous tour together through South Africa. 
On an earlier date in the war I was conducting the 
Hon. F. M. B. Fisher, an ex-Minister of New Zealand, 
over a colonial hospital near Epsom. The New Zealand 
convalescents greeted him in one hut with a wild 
Maori cry ; then a lusty voice shouted from a 
bunk, " How's the great left-hander ? " Gobert 
is reported to have descended from the clouds 
after some mishap in a French reconnoitring aero- 
plane, and instead of finding himself, as he half feared, 
in territory occupied by the enemy, fell among British 
officers, who instantly recognised him as the French 
champion and asked him in what training he was 
keeping for the next Wimbledon ! I also recall that 
Wilding, by sheer accident, spent his last few hours 
alive in the company of soldiers whom he had often 
met on court. 

But I wander. I set out in this chapter to give 
some impressions of clubs, courts, tournaments, and 
players in these isles, reserving foreign experiences for 
a later section. Yet it is very difficult to localise lawn 
tennis, to concentrate on one place, or even on one 
country, without thinking of other places and other 
countries. The field for memory is so wide ; the 
characters seem to turn up on so many varied occasions 
and at such different points. 

Perhaps I may start with outer London i.e. 
London outside Wimbledon. In my youth I made the 
round of Surbiton, Chiswick, Beckenham, and Queen's 
with great zest, for each was accessible to the charms 
of the capital in its most attractive month. Over 
thirty, one took this metropolitan tournamenteering 
with a little more circumspection, for the programme 
has often to wait the convenience of City men, and 



36 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

one is not always certain, especially at Queen's, where 
the crush is prodigious, whether one will get a match 
in time to eat a respectable dinner. After forty, with 
something of an epicure's privilege, items are selected 
from the fare ; the whole feast is too hearty a meal. 
None the less, with all their drawbacks, these London 
gatherings, forming a kind of rehearsal for international 
Wimbledon, have both their joys and dignities. 

The beautiful ground of the Surbiton Club at Berry- 
lands has an enviable reputation for the delectable 
environment of its courts, especially in mid-May, 
the date of its open meeting ; for the zeal and enter- 
prise of its executive which, with Mr. Alfred Sterry 
at its head, is ever planning some new development and 
as surely finding the money to meet the cost ; for the 
full lists and keen competition of its Surrey champion- 
ship tournament, so long the first grass-court gathering 
of the year. Here Smith, Ritchie, and Dixon have each 
been triumphant for three successive years, the last- 
named by a victory over Wilding ; here Brookes 
fought an anxious five-set final on a rain-sprinkled 
court against F. G. Lowe, and Patterson, at the opening 
grass tournament after the war, won his first " turf " 
singles in England ; here, too, more lady ex-champions 
have competed at any meeting outside Wimbledon, 
and one of them, Mrs. Sterry, so long maintained her 
skill as to figure as recently as 1919 in the final of 
the ladies' doubles. 

Nearly twenty years ago I was a member of Chis- 
wick Park a club with a championship board dating 
back over a quarter of a century and containing many 
famous names. Mrs. Lambert Chambers could almost 
mile-stone her career on the Chiswick courts she first 
won the open singles in 1903 and then went on to 
Wimbledon to win the championship. The Grevilles 






ROUND THE HOME COURTS 87 

have won cups here, so have Mahony and Ritchie. 
The club, like the courts (which the pavilion seems 
to shadow at the wrong time), have had their vicissi- 
tudes ; but Chiswick has never lacked enterprise and 
support, and has provided the battleground for many 
spirited county matches. 

Beckenham's popularity has never been questioned, 
in spite of the fact that its tournament courts are 
borrowed annually from a cricket club and, for that 
reason, have never been of championship quality. 
Committees can make and mar tournaments even more 
than players. The Beckenham executive, for long led 
and inspired by Mr. C. A. Elgood, are past masters 
in organisation, controlling it by geniality. They 
have a pleasant word for everybody even for the 
late competitor and the ball-boy who tries to embrace 
a competitor in the middle of the court. Kent galleries 
are celebrated for their sporting qualities ; this one 
also for the beauty of its ladies and the daintiness of 
their attire. Perhaps this is why the male lists always 
fill so well. It may be that some of the coloured 
effects do not form the best background for punctilious 
players. Wasn't it at Beckenham that the late H. S. 
Barlow asked a lady to lower her red parasol which 
was in his direct line of vision, and then, since the 
request was ignored, hit a ball by accident into the 
offending ornament ? But nobody worries unduly 
about conditions at Beckenham ; the play is important 
but the play is not everything. Barrett has long been 
a draw here ; he could doubtless tell you many stories 
of thunderstorm matches. Brookes won his first 
singles in England here, so did Beals Wright, both 
these oversea players then going on to Wimbledon to 
win the All Comers. Laurie Doherty and Kingscote 
have won the Kent Cup outright this century the 



38 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

latter in his last match having to dispose of a 
Japanese. 

I had a strange umpiring experience at Beckenham. 
It was in Evelegh's time, probably sixteen years ago. 
The match was a single between two first-class ladies 
on one of the gallery courts. In the first set one of 
the players had reached 5-4. The other declared the 
score was only 4-3. In vain did I show her the score 
sheet, plainly marked up with its nine games. She 
insisted I was wrong. What could I do ? I suggested 
an appeal to the referee, but before any further action 
could be taken, my disputant had left the court. A few 
minutes later she was out of the ground. Nor did she 
ever return, retiring incontinently from both doubles. 
In my distress and mystification I went to Evelegh ; 
that wise official nodded his uncovered head as I 
explained what had happened, saying only, " Do not 
worry at all. You'll be the best of friends afterwards." 
He was right. I met the lady (whose play I much 
admired, by the way) at Homburg a few months later. 
Nothing could exceed her graciousness. She even 
presented me on court to King Edward, who was taking 
the cure and had come to see his friend play. 

Queen's has pleasant memories, and I shall relate 
some in another chapter. 1 Its outdoor grass courts 
have witnessed many memorable contests notably 
the stupendous volleying duel between Norman 
Brookes and Beals Wright in 1905 and the brilliant 
single between Tilden and Johnston last summer- 
but neither the light nor the turf at Queen's is of the 
best, and it has always amazed me that the quality of 
play has been so high. The Dohertys used to play 
both publicly and privately here, but they were never 
very serious supporters of the London championships. 

1 See " Under Cover." 



ROUND THE HOME COURTS 89 

I must not forget that Kenneth Powell won the singles 
championship in the same summer and on the same 
turf that he won the hurdles for Cambridge ; nor 
that two other Cambridge men, Wilding and F. G. 
Lowe, have always shone on these courts. It is a 
pity Queen's immediately precedes Wimbledon. Com- 
petitors at the latter are sorely tempted to practise 
at headquarters just before the great test ; and 
the conditions are very materially different. Queen's 
always draws the Americans, however, and I know 
not how many London players besides. It is a most 
convenient centre, " tubeable " from any point ; and 
the Queen's bar is the recognised rendezvous for lawn 
tennis players the world over. 

The metropolitan area contains many another 
well-known club, most of them prosperous, nearly all 
with a maximum membership, some better known for 
their spring and autumn seasons. The Gipsy Club at 
Stamford Hill has admirable courts and sound tradi- 
tions. It holds a popular open meeting at which the 
very rare defeat of Roper Barrett in any event provokes 
something like a sensation. Miss A. M. Morton won 
the ladies' cup for nine successive years an absolute 
record for a lady at a first-class English tournament. 
Japan at present holds the men's cup who would 
have predicted such a development before the war ? 

What the Gipsy Club is to North London, the South 
Norwood Club is to South London, though the latter 
is a much younger institution. I believe the pro- 
prietary interest is now vested at Lloyd's, but the 
life and soul of the annual Norwood tournament is 
W. C. Bersey, an honorary manager and referee of rare 
acumen and an insatiable appetite for work. The 
environment is picturesque and offers the alternatives 
of golf, boating, and cricket. A German first won 



40 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

the Norwood Cup ; an American now holds it. East 
Croydon and the Crystal Palace used to have big 
tournaments ; both may do so again. Epsom revived 
its open meeting last year an unlucky thirteenth as 
the weather made it ; but no club associated with such 
keen spirits as George Hampton (brother of the deeply 
lamented " Jack/' whom I partnered in the Surrey 
Shield) and H. S. Milford will be troubled by trifles 
like that. 

Roehampton is a club with a future rather than 
a past. Its facilities for grass and hard court play 
are widely conceived and luxuriously executed, while 
the material comfort of players is variously catered 
for. You may dine and dance at Roehampton after 
you have "slain" your opponent on court. Here 
the Surrey hard-court championships are now decided ; 
here Gerald Patterson first served his expresses in 
the open air of England ; here a grass-court meeting, 
the first of a long line to come, was inaugurated last 
May. Of its hard -court tournament a fortnight 
earlier, I may relate one amusing incident. I was 
paired with Mishu, a son of Rumania's former Minister 
in London. Mishu' s forte is singles at which, like 
Count Salm of Austria, he drives with great power 
though with little swing a sort of snappy " punch." 
In doubles he is inclined to be eccentric, thinking 
aloud as he hits every ball. In our second-round 
match one of our opponents lobbed the ball high into 
a telephone wire crossing the court, some thirty feet 
up. Gazing aloft, Mishu watched its course deflected. 
The ball fell into our court. Mishu demanded that 
the point should be given in our favour, since the 
wire was not a permanent fixture. Technically, I 
think, he was right, but the obvious course was a let, 
which the umpire duly called. More than a little 






-ROUND THE HOME COURTS 41 

piqued or perhaps anxious to amuse the gallery 
Mishu began to lift all his returns with the idea of 
hitting the wire and, I suppose, of demanding a 
sequence of lets. However, this feat was easier to 
conceive than to execute. He failed, and our op- 
ponents enjoyed a feast of "outs" and "kills." 
I confess to enjoying the joke as much as the 
spectators. 

The newly christened Country Club at Hendon 
has the best hard courts of any in London I have 
sampled, and the appurtenances of the club-house, 
conceived by Mr. Graham- White, could not be more 
alluring. It reminded me of the Country Club at 
Johannesburg, where 100 is put down every Sunday 
in new golf balls on the first tee-ing ground. The 
dressing-rooms at Hendon are delightful, the cuisine of 
the best, and the floor for dancing perfect. A motor-car 
or aeroplane is useful to reach this very attractive place. 
Hurlingham is another club which, by its attributes and 
enterprise, cannot fail to attract players. New hard- 
court clubs are springing up in all directions. Their 
virtues are undoubtedly real, both as health resorts 
and as nurseries for champions. The pioneer hard- 
court club in London the Drive at Fulham has 
lately resurfaced its five courts, burying its old cement 
as a foundation for new red rubble. Thus does it 
make new lamps out of old, and shine even more 
brightly than it did before the war. But go where 
you will there is now lawn tennis in London. Several 
of the parks have hard courts. Soon Battersea may 
have as many as the Central Park's forty in San 
Francisco and light them up at dark as 'Frisco does. 
Commercial houses are laying them down, too ; it is 
money well invested, as managers advise their boards. 

Out of London, in all parts of the country there 



42 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

has been the same expanding spirit, expressed in the 
season's length, the demand for spring and autumn 
facilities, the lists at open tournaments, the zeal among 
juveniles to learn the game. Soon the barriers erected 
at public schools by prejudiced authority will be 
broken down and then lawn tennis in England will 
see a speeding-up of stroke and footwork such as 
America witnessed a decade ago. I am not one of 
those who vilify headmasters for delaying the advent 
of the game ; if we needed any proof that cricket is 
still an unsurpassed training for character the war 
provided it. Yet it is undeniable that the young men 
of France, Belgium, and America fought just as keenly 
and wore just as well on their national games, which 
include lawn tennis. A new generation of school- 
masters is coming into power. Many will know the 
real virtues of modern lawn tennis not least its 
cosmopolitan vogue and the intercourse it permits 
with other countries and will offer it as an alternative 
recreation. Besides, boys who relish its athletic 
qualities in the holidays will not be content to forego 
its pursuit throughout term-time. 

I have missed very few Northern tournaments this 
century I mean those held alternately at Manchester 
and Liverpool. They may have lost a little of their 
lustre since the advent of counter attractions, but the 
hospitality of Lancashire is a byword and the zeal 
of its experienced executive an example for every 
southerner. For several years I have been privileged 
to join Mr. Joseph Duckworth's house-party at Heaton 
Mersey. Under his generous roof many a champion 
has foregathered, many a match been replayed at 
breakfast or dinner-table, many an oversea youth 
obtained a first glimpse of English country life. Mr. 
Duckworth owns a fine billiard-table and keeps a 



HOUND THE HOME COURTS 43 

" break-book/' in which every score over fifty is 
recorded. Norman Brookes has his hundred odd in 
it, but Parke, Beamish, Doust, R. B. Powell, Mavro- 
gordato, Raymond, and other visitors to this pleasant 
house have never handled the cue as skilfully as the 
racket, though some of them have shown latent 
" potting " talent. Smith, Riseley, and Miss Martin 
were the outstanding figures at the Northern in my 
early days. Brookes came, saw and conquered in 
1907, though he was defeated in the doubles. Miss 
May Sutton, attired usefully in a short skirt, won the 
ladies' singles on something like a mud-heap in 1905. 
Mrs. Chambers, Mrs. Larcombe, and Mrs. Sterry have 
all been popular figures. It was at Manchester that 
Parke beat Wilding, thus adding the then champion 
to his two other noted victims in one year Brookes 
and McLoughlin. Parke, like Smith, always defied 
Northern conditions ; come rain or wind he hit 
through either with violence and sound aim. Little 
" Mavro " has also shone here the best-trained man, 
touching nothing but water, during the tournament 
week. 

Newcastle I know well and Scarborough even 
better. The courts for the former's " week " are 
leased for the occasion and can be a little unreliable ; 
those at Scarborough, especially in recent years, are 
first class, girding a pavilion now second to none in 
England. The feature of all these Northern meetings 
is the local enthusiasm and the bountiful hospitality 
of those in control. No southerner who goes to 
Newcastle or Scarborough will ever regret the long 
journey, and let him not suppose Northumberland 
and Yorkshire cannot produce players of the toughest 
fibre. The Edgbaston Club at Birmingham (though 
the city is invisible from its beautiful ground) is the 



44 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

bulwark of Midland lawn tennis a club with the best 
traditions, and excellent courts sunk on the well 
principle. Tilden is its present open champion, and 
told me after our brief match in the third round 
last July that even Edgbaston in the rain was worth 
visiting. What a furore the champion created ! On 
the Friday afternoon the grass courts were unplayable, 
but a red rubble court without gallery accomraodation 
was available. The problem was how to get Tilden, 
Garland, Beamish, and Winslow on to this substitute 
surface for a double without bringing the whole of 
Birmingham with them. The available police were 
mobilised and informed secretly of the match. The 
players stole out of the pavilion and crept stealthily 
to the side court. Then when the crowd came tumbling 
to the wings, a cordon was kept in position with 
difficulty. On the following day, when Tilden played 
Winslow in the final of the singles on the gallery court, 
the gate was a record. From the umpire's chair I saw 
on all sides a mass of spectators who followed every 
stroke with abnormal interest. Not since Brookes 
came fifteen years earlier had there been a final even 
approaching this in popular fancy. 

Buxton, Leamington, Nottingham, Leicester, New- 
port all these inland meetings conjure up memories 
of spirited fights and genial tournaments. I have even 
experienced a perfectly fine week at Buxton, and that 
is almost a unique luxury in August. Here I once 
played Casdagli in the final of the singles coming out 
of court, as I expected, a sadder and wiser man 
and then, almost immediately, going back for what 
proved to be a terrific mixed final in which Casdagli 
partnered Mrs. Sterry and I Miss Garfit. Our oppon- 
ents got home at something like 13-11 in the third 
set. Personally I got home to my Surrey village wet 



ROUND THE HOME COURTS 45 

to the skin at 1.30 the following morning. In my 
precipitate youth I had travelled back to London with 
Evelegh, dropped him at Wimbledon station on our 
midnight train out from Waterloo, and then passed 
my station in profound slumber. A violent thunder- 
storm was brewing when I turned out at cabless 
Leatherhead. It broke over me on my weary trudge 
across country. 

Both Leamington and Newport are heat-inviting 
meetings ; physical hardihood is required to survive 
them. Smith used to play well at Newport, as Boucher, 
another Gloucestershire baseliner, did at Leamington. 
E. R. Allen also had his great day at the latter, as he did 
elsewhere. The complete withdrawal of the famous 
twins from tournament play is both a tragedy and a 
mystery. They still make an annual pilgrimage to 
Cambridge to encourage the undergraduates, but their 
exercise is now confined to slow cycling and not in 
parallel formation. Bless their gentle hearts and 
whimsical ways ! Their duality was not confined to 
looks and habits ; it governed their thoughts. I 
remember once walking towards Beachy Head with 
my wife. We met C. G. with his white trousers and 
crooked stick. " Where are you staying ? ' I in- 
quired. " At the (naming an hotel). So many 

flies ! So many flies." I asked where E. R. was. 
" Oh, he's training for the singles/' was the reply, 
" and has gone to the top of Beachy Head. You will 
meet him coming back." We did, and I asked inno- 
cently, " Where are you staying ? " " At the ," 

he answered at once. " So many flies ! So many 
flies ! " As players of the older English school they 
were sound. To-day, even at their best, I doubt 
whether they would quite respond to the greater 
speed. As humorists, with a spontaneous, 'bus- 



46 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

driver's wit, they were unrivalled, both on the court 
and off it. 

Seaside tournaments are, perhaps luckily, never 
quite so serious as those inland. The great majority 
are holiday meetings, with the business man free from 
his fetters lighter in heart and clearer in eye in 
consequence. Eastbourne is the largest and chief 
of these gatherings the festive finale of the grass 
season, admirably equipped and controlled. Mr. Edgar 
Allan Brown and the Devonshire Park directorate have 
done much for lawn tennis ; they have given more 
than they have received. Several war charities, 
notably the Kitchener National Fund, benefited by 
their generosity during the war. On a fine September 
morning, the sun driving the gentle mist over the 
Downs, no ground is so alluring as Devonshire Park ; 
veteran meets veteran and exchanges travel or (as 
last year) fighting notes ; the future champion spreads 
his or her wings in the juvenile events ; current form 
is crystallised in the South of England Championships. 

The Brighton meeting is nearly as big held at 
the County Cricket Ground at Hove on which, in some 
years, it would not be impossible to sail a yacht in 
the passing breeze. Here Mr. Lionel King is the 
presiding spirit, an expert at organisation and a ripe 
student of the game's lore. Most of the great players 
have gone into court at Brighton, for long one of 
Evelegh's meetings, now refereed by my friend, 
Frank Burrow. The mordant humour of W. V. 
Eaves has enlivened the gallery here, as elsewhere. 
Drawn to meet Pirn in the first round of the singles, 
the " Doctor/' was bustled into court on the morning of 
the third day with " a train eye " and slightly revolting 
temper. Pirn walked away with the first set. Eaves 
was making some headway in the second when his 



ROUND THE HOME COURTS 47 

opponent hit a ball on to a newly laid turf, a 
false bound resulting. It was a critical point, and 
Pirn was profuse in his apologies. " Don't mention 
it, my dear fellow/' said Eaves in one of his audible 
asides ; " some dog's grave, I suppose." And the 
committee had been preening themselves on the 
immaculate surface of their show court ! 

Kent has now a thriving rota of open meetings ; 
each new tournament, as Margate proved last year, 
draws a crowded field. The Imperial courts at Hythe 
have a distinctive charm unrivalled in the whole of 
England. Whether it is their floral terraces, the 
invigorating air of the Channel, the golf as a pleasing 
variant, the engaging American Bar which sweetens 
victory or dilutes defeat, or the genial company of 
sportsmen who gather at Hythe, this meeting always 
makes a strong appeal. Men over forty are buoyed 
up for great deeds at Hythe. I have seen E. R. Allen, 
at the age of forty-five, beat two such active runners 
as Doust and Mavrogordato on the same day. Barrett, 
only four years short of fifty, won the Imperial Cup 
outright there in 1919. Gore, another wonderful 
veteran, has driven with his greatest gusto. Nor 
do younger arms slacken in power here. Kingscote, 
Woosnam, Turnbull, Norton, and that tireless Indian 
policeman, F. R. L. Crawford, have had their share 
of triumphs. 

Neighbouring Folkestone is a little more con- 
ventional. Its Pleasure Gardens courts are good 
and the management efficient ; but I confess I have 
sometimes sighed at Folkestone for a September 
August. Worthing is rather a hot scramble. Like 
Wimbledon, the West Worthing Club needs more 
space for its summer meeting, better dressing facilities 
for its invaders. But players come back again and 



48 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

that is always a recommendation. I had a curious 
match in the singles here with A. D. Prebble. Neither 
of us had quite mastered the art of singles play, yet 
there we were, in a temperature well over 90 degrees 
Fahr., battling for the first prize. Which doubles 
volleyer would tire first in the noonday August sun ? 
There was no other problem. Fortunately for me, 
Prebble put a little more power into his service than 
I did ; he felt the strain sooner and dropped out 
first. 

How an Indian sun can train a man for an arduous 
battle was shown at Worthing in 1919. Dixon was 
two sets up and 5-2 against Crawford in the final. 
The latter held on as if a hangman's rope were awaiting 
the loser in the dressing-room. Bandaged in arm and 
leg (for he was a martyr to neuritis), his spectacles 
soaped and his forehead protected with a kind of 
turban, Crawford filled the part completely of a 
wounded gladiator. In the end he won the match, 
Dixon, after lazily reaching match point some eight 
or nine times and each time finding Crawford able 
to get his winner back, retiring at two sets all. I 
admired Crawford's pluck more than his strokes. He 
is the kind of earnest player who plots tactical schemes 
in the dead of night, devours a treatise on technique, 
and examines the grips of champions with the cunning 
eye of a connoisseur. 

I might expatiate at length on the attractions of 
the West of England and Island tournaments. The 
weather in August may make them a trifle somnolent 
and their holiday vein or a damp surface lower the 
standard of play, but their lists are usually well 
filled with a goodly sprinkling of Service competitors. 
One of the oldest tournaments in the kingdom, Ex- 
mouth, is steadily regaining its former glories. Bristol 



ROUND THE HOME COURTS 49 

promises to fill the place of Bath. In the Isle of 
Wight, Mr. G. C. Drabble, owner of a beautiful private 
indoor court, is one of many zealous patrons. 

I am sometimes asked who I consider the best 
referee at British tournaments. It is an invidious 
question, and I should be sorry to have to answer it by 
naming any single individual. I first began to play 
under Evelegh, whose methods and personality were 
peculiarly his own. He was my predecessor as lawn 
tennis editor of the Field ; I was a contributor to his 
department many years ago ; I respected him as I 
cherish his memory now. H. S. Scrivener was another 
of my early referees, and I consider his knowledge of 
the game's traditions and lore second to none. An 
unselfish fellow, he is also painstaking and conscientious, 
a stickler for the correct spelling of proper names and 
for initials ; gifted, too, with that priceless attribute 
for executive officers a sense of humour. A lucid 
and graceful writer on the game, he has done much 
both for its progress and its dignity. 

Perhaps Frank Burrow is the most systematic of 
referees. Like Scrivener, he has the legal mind for 
order and sequence ; his methods are a shade brisker 
than his friend's. His impedimenta, though neatly 
cased when he sets out for a tournament, takes shape 
and substance. It consists, roughly, of several enor- 
mous sheets of white cardboard, a box of drawing-pins, 
a formidable case of cigars, a box of matches, sundry 
coloured pencils, and a trench mackintosh. To these 
he may yet add a kitchen table, essential for his 
drawing-pins and not always to be found among local 
properties. To watch Burrow at work opening a 
tournament and then conducting it, as the crush and 
clamour rise to their climax and finally subside into 
the gentle cooing of the mixed handicap winners as 



50 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

night is falling on the final day, is to realise the value 
of the specialist's brain as well as the truth of the 
scriptural maxim that a soft answer turneth away 
wrath. Like all true humorists, Frank can appreciate 
a joke against himself. He will recall with a smile 
how Eaves took a rise from him at Nottingham. The 
genial " Doctor " and (I think) Ball-Greene were 
partners in the doubles. Their opponents (and pro- 
spective victims) came to the tent before lunch to 
inquire when their match (or dispatch) would come on. 
"At two o'clock/' said Burrow, "but I shan't be 
annoyed if you are a few minutes late, since Eaves is 
rather prone to extend his lunch interval." Returning 
to his tent a little before two for the afternoon session, 
Burrow found Eaves pacing up and down the floor. 
1 Where are our opponents and umpire ? " he asked 
a little fretfully. " I understood we were to play 
at two sharp." It was 2.15 before the local pair put 
in an appearance. The " Doctor " had, of course, 
overheard the conversation before lunch and had 
immediately seen his chance. 

By the way, was it at Nottingham or Leicester that 
somebody once sent a telegram to George Hillyard on 
court asking him whether it was usual for the singles 
posts to remain in position during a double ? The 
umpire had omitted to remove them. And that 
incident reminds me of another celebrated telegram 
dispatched to Roper Barrett at Saxmundham. The 
Allen twins were contemplating Bournemouth as 
their next port of call, but, having had a strenuous 
tournament in Suffolk, were hoping that its successor 
would be comparatively easy. Barrett was sitting 
between E. R. and C. G. near the referee when the 
telegraph boy came up. He opened the envelope and 
read the message aloud : " ROPER BARRETT. Lawn 



ROUND THE HOME COURTS 51 

Tennis Tournament, Saxmundham. Will you partner 
me Bournemouth ? SMITH/' The result was electric. 
" Roy ! " shouted Charlie. " Did you hear ? S. H. 
Smith is going to Bournemouth. Just like our luck ! " 
The joke was maintained for some hours, and then 
somebody relieved the twins' minds by telling them 
that Barrett was himself the author of the telegram. 

Dudley Larcombe runs many big meetings with 
ability and tact. A sound organiser, he has learnt 
the secret of persuading people to do things which their 
marrow bones prompt them to refuse e.g. playing 
in the rain on an empty stomach. Faced with a tight 
problem, he can usually solve it. He is fortunate in 
possessing a wife whose judgment and discretion, 
though never exercised in an official capacity at 
tournaments (for Mrs. Larcombe is a competitor under 
ordinary jurisdiction), are invaluable. Cyril Marriott 
is another referee who has won his spurs a quiet and 
conscientious M.C. 

Before crossing the Channel, I may perhaps refer 
to the increasing attention now paid to tournaments 
by the Press. Twenty years ago the daily newspapers 
gave scant notice to an important meeting, and even 
well into the present century it was considered con- 
ventional in many quarters of Fleet Street to be 
satirical at the expense of the game. Well, all that 
has now gone. The journalistic instinct appreciates 
the fact that lawn tennis by its cosmopolitan vogue, 
its social attributes, its spectacular virtues, and its 
ability to provide a " fight to a finish " is an admirable 
story-maker. Kings play and watch it with their 
subjects ; Cabinet Ministers use it as a never-failing 
tonic ; half Debrett have their private courts ; 
Carpentier says of his little daughter, born last year, 
" We cannot make her a boxer, so she shall be a 



52 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

tennis champion/' Disparagement has given place to 
advertisement. Now Punch and Tom Webster are 
turned on. A cable line is run into the Press box at 
Wimbledon. Tilden is interviewed on the landing- 
stage at Liverpool, and the length of Mile Lenglen's 
skirt is a matter of public concern ! 

There are several shrewd and piquant writers 
discoursing on lawn tennis in the daily and weekly 
Press. I have mentioned H. S. Scrivener. No one 
can read E. E. Mavrogordato (unrelated to T. M., by 
the way) in The Times without appreciating his talent 
for apt allusion and his observant eye for the point 
that matters. That versatile scholar, A. E. Crawley, 
can never be dull ; as a critic he shows great discern- 
ment, as an antiquarian of ball games he is an acknow- 
ledged expert. Eustace White is a careful, forceful 
writer with a player's knowledge. His didactic 
matter is sound. H. R. McDonald divides his allegi- 
ance with football and cricket. He was quick to see 
the sporting potentialities of lawn tennis, and writes 
vividly for the popular public. So does H. L. Bourke, 
a most hard-working journalist. Among the newer 
writers are Hamilton Price, a player and referee, 
and S. Powell Blackmore, an incisive critic. The great 
lawn tennis artist has yet to reveal himself in England. 
French and American cartoonists are some distance 
ahead, both in accuracy and humour, though our 
popular artists, without inside knowledge of the game, 
use lawn tennis as a theme with sprightly effect. The 
sketches of my friends, Charles Ambrose and H. F. 
Crowther-Smith, are, of course, in a more serious vein 
and reflect an intimate knowledge of their subject. 
The writers and artists I have mentioned and several 
others have helped by their pens and pencils to increase 
the scope and vitality of lawn tennis. 



CHAPTER IV 

PLACES AND PLAYERS ON THE 
CONTINENT 

A LITTLE more than a decade ago the Con- 
tinent was the happy hunting-ground for the 
British tourist. The experienced invader from 
these shores might be repulsed by some sturdy defender 
in France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Sweden, 
Holland, Spain, or Switzerland, but as a rule he got 
through comfortably to the prize round and considered 
himself unlucky if he was not a successful finalist. 
Those triumphant days have departed and are never 
likely to return. The seed sown by British travellers 
has yielded a rich harvest. The ripe corn now competes 
with increasing confidence against the English native 
product. Sometimes, as in the case of Gobert on 
covered courts, the superiority is unquestioned. Truly 
the one-time poacher has had to turn gamekeeper and 
be thankful if he can retain part of his preserves. 
Sometimes I hear this denouement lamented. Re- 
garded broadly, the growth and development of Con- 
tinental talent is an object for British pride, a tribute 
to our missionary zeal, an even greater tribute to the 
inherent virtues of lawn tennis. I would prefer to 
see an English champion crowned at Wimbledon, but 
I would sooner see an oversea player triumphant in 
a cosmopolitan field than an Englishman victorious 
in a purely domestic field. Nothing has done more to 
develop lawn tennis at home than its extension abroad. 



54 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Nothing can check a further growth except a curtail- 
ment of international competition. 

France was the second country after America to 
follow our lead. Paris has several excellent covered 
courts more than London, though not as many as 
Stockholm and outside these and throughout the 
country, a feature of every town, an ever-increasing 
number of splendid hard courts. Some of those in 
the northern provinces those of the Lille Club, for 
example suffered at the hands of the German invader, 
but they have since been reconstructed. Along the 
French coast, at places like Le Touquet, Boulogne, 
Dieppe, Dinard, Deauville, and Biarritz, successful 
tournaments were relaunched in 1919. I have visited 
most of these popular resorts at one time or another 
and can testify to their attractions, by no means 
confined to the lawn tennis courts. It may be 
delightful to win a match you half expected to lose ; 
your joy is heightened if, when dinner has been con- 
sumed on a verandah restaurant to the strains of 
Strauss, you can stroll through the forest in the cool 
of an August night to a bijou casino and there 
either win the price of your modest repast or see 
other people juggle with their superfluous wealth. My 
advice to the home-bored tournamenteer is to go to 
Le Touquet for a week, and to take a bag of golf -clubs 
as well as a case of rackets. 

Two popular figures at Dinard Eaves and R. B. 
Powell were victims, the former after the Armistice, 
of the war. Eaves was the cup-holder for seven 
successive years a skilful, if perspiring, champion. 
Nor was he an unsuccessful punter at the tables, 
having acquired the secret of playing one game late 
and the other early, and both well. I remember the 
" Doctor " once piloting a fair partner through a 



PLACES AND PLAYERS ON THE CONTINENT 55 

couple of rounds of the mixed handicap, and then 
when they came to the third round, on which he had 
a tempting shade of odds, suggesting tactfully that 
she should take a seat after returning the service and 
permit him to win the rally off his own racket. By 
this happy device both the match and the wagei 
were secured. 

Dieppe conjures up to my mind the first visit of 
a celebrated English player for whose modest purse 
the referee had made special arrangements at one of 
the big hotels. He was to pay his own footing, of 
course, but the pension was low and inclusive. The 
English international arrived at the dinner hour and, 
ravenous after his sea passage, partook freely of the 
luscious dishes offered him in rotation. Preening 
himself on his sound judgment in coming to Dieppe, 
he was rising from the table when the maitre d hotel 
presented him with a little bill of fifty-two francs 
(pre-war rate of exchange). Expostulating, the visitor 
discovered, to his dismay, that he had been dining 
d la carte. At this rate the week would cost him 
thirty pounds. However, the referee put the matter 
right, and the international's nerves were steadied so 
that subsequently he won two prizes. 

Wilding and Gobert have both been winners of 
the Deauville Cup. The former was always at his 
best on the hard courts around the French coast ; on 
the Riviera in his later years he was never once beaten 
in a single. An islander by birth, he was unquestion- 
ably braced by a girding sea, though he was not a 
good sailor. It was at Deauville, after Wilding had 
figuratively wiped the court with the Continental 
cracks, that one or two doubting Wimbledonians, 
otherwise sound judges, who had not previously 
seen the champion play on the Continent, released 



56 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

their enthusiasm and acknowledged his sterling 
quality. 

England played her first Davis Cup match on hard 
courts at Deauville. The experiment was eminently 
successful, for France, with Gobert and Laurentz to 
represent her, was beaten by the odd match in five. 
This contest will linger in my memory for several 
reasons. The mise en seine was remarkable, for the 
court was laid down within a catapult-shot of the sea 
and within earshot of the gay carnival which graces 
the foreshore at the height of the season. Cavalry 
officers were engaged in a horse-jumping competition 
next door ; aeroplanes gurgled overhead ; all the fun 
of the fashionable fair was loose, and I remember 
remarking to Roper Barrett, the British captain, that 
a bomb ought to have burst over the court when he 
had sent up one of his highest lobs. Amid these con- 
ditions, and with a wind added, the double was played. 
The French took the first fourteen games. My task 
as umpire promised to be the shortest on record, when 
Barrett and Turnbull made a desperate stand and, by 
judicious tossing, took the third set into twenty- two 
games. 

France was in a winning position when the third 
day's play opened. A victory in either single took 
them home, and since Gobert had already beaten 
Davson and had played with supreme steadiness in 
the doubles, he was expected to defeat Kingscote. 
As it happened, a very little would have turned the 
first match between Davson and Laurentz. Expecting 
to win with something in hand, the Englishman had 
to struggle hard right up to the end of the fourth set. 
At times Laurentz volleyed with dazzling brilliancy, 
especially on the forehand when Davson tried to cross 
him from the right-hand court. Luckily Davson had 



PLACES AND PLAYERS ON THE CONTINENT 57 

brought over a good supply of lobs from Queen's ; they 
helped more than anything else to drain Laurentz's 
stamina. Kingscote's defeat of Gobert in three sets 
was a surprise to all who did not calculate on the 
temperamental advantage of the British soldier and 
on his wisdom in not watching the previous match. 
Gobert amused himself by taking snapshots of Davson 
v. Laurentz, but as this tie lengthened and his own 
receded, I could not help noticing that the suspense 
was affecting him. Moreover, he was hampered in 
movement a little by the soft surface ; he was a second 
late in striding over to protect his wings. Kingscote 
was passing him with beautiful precision, especially 
with that very difficult shot, the backhand down the 
line. Never did player answer his country's call more 
confidently nor with greater success. Incidentally the 
victory meant that Major and Mrs. Kingscote would 
make a wedding trip to Australia. 

French zest is unquenchable and the foundation of 
a hard-court Wimbledon at St. Cloud in 1912 was a 
monument to the progressive spirit animating France. 
The centre court at the Stade Frangais is a model, 
almost a slavish model, of our own centre court. The 
stands, if roofless and less solidly constructed, are 
arranged the same way and are nearly as capacious ; 
the run-back and side-run are as extensive ; the 
scoring-board, though a little smaller, is precisely 
similar ; only the surface of the court, khaki in colour 
and baked sand in substance, is different. I confess 
that the yellowy brown colour, so baneful to the eyes 
in the strong glare of the midsummer sun, draws my 
preference instinctively to the green turf of Wimbledon, 
so placid to look upon, a cushion for the feet compared 
with this rock-like plane. But probably the hard 
court at St. Cloud more nearly approaches the future 

\ 



58 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

standardised court for the whole world than the centre 
court at Wimbledon. Turf for lawn tennis is not to 
be found in Africa or on the Continent. It is some- 
thing of a luxury in India, and can crumble badly under 
the heat in Australia. Even where turf is more general 
the standard of Wimbledon is rarely, if ever, reached. 
For perfect lawn tennis I prefer Wimbledon on a sun- 
less day, but I would sooner play on a hard non-turf 
surface than on the majority of grass courts in England. 

Outside the chief court at St. Cloud, uncomfortably 
crowded on championship Sunday, the accommodation 
for spectators is on a generous scale in marked 
contrast to the narrow alleys at the present Wimbledon. 
The French organisers have acres of beautiful parkland 
on which to distribute their crowds after a big match. 
Tea under the trees makes a delightful setting. The 
pavilion is 300 yards or so from the centre court, 
reached by sylvan glades. Its catering and dressing 
accommodation surpasses Wimbledon ; indeed, any 
other tournament on the Continent. The task of the 
commissionaire gener ale is far from easy, and M. Joannis, 
the first to fill the post, deserves high praise for his tact 
and initiative. Day after day he had to handle large 
and emotional crowds, to feed them, to provide them 
with good matches, and then to arrange their transport 
home. That an English referee should be employed 
my friend, George Simond is a graceful tribute on the 
part of the French to our traditions and savoir-faire. I 
shall have something more to say about " G. M." 
later. He has a unique experience of Continental 
conditions, and his influence with players of all nation- 
alities is the growth of many years' confidence in his 
absolute fairness and good sense. 

Some of the glamour and clamour of the prize ring 
are associated with the finals at St. Cloud. The crowd 



PLACES AND PLAYERS ON THE CONTINENT 59 

can be almost sentimental in its emotion. I remember 
Mile Lenglen, then a child of fifteen, winning the 
ladies' championship in 1914. She followed a German 
champion, and perhaps that consideration may have 
added to the warmth the almost ecstatic warmth 
of the demonstration. Men and women kissed her ; 
an excited patron offered a stupendous sum for her 
racket ; the child-wonder of France arrived in the 
capital on that day. 

Then I think of the men's final a year earlier when 
Gobert, having beaten Froitzheim comfortably in the 
semi-final, met Wilding, a little shaken by a five-set 
match with Decugis, in the final. It was a terribly hot 
afternoon in late May. Paris was like a furnace, and even 
at leafy St. Cloud one felt uncomfortably warm. Gobert's 
initial failure was greeted with groans. The fierce sun, 
beating on an uncovered head, seemed to unnerve the 
Frenchman, and for some time his ground strokes, 
especially his forehand drive, went astray. Wilding, 
with cool brain and sound defence, won the first two 
sets at 6-3. Then Gobert wisely draped his head in a 
bathing-cap dipped in water. Almost instantly he 
improved, and, winning Wilding's service for the first 
time, went ahead brilliantly. His volleying was 
audacious, but he scored most of his aces with a back- 
hand drive down Wilding's forehand line, frequently 
deceiving him with its pace and direction. This 
streak of irresistibility was greeted with wild acclama- 
tion by the crowd. The officials did their best to calm 
the excitement. Conscious of its effect on the crisis 
of a long rally, they hissed their disapproval ; but as 
soon as one burst of applause stopped, another began. 
Even the linesmen betrayed their nationality, gesticu- 
lating to friends in the tribunes when Gobert was 
reducing the big lead against him. Nearly every stroke 



60 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

seemed to be snapshotted from the galleries by one 
or other of the private photographers. The cinema 
operator was busy. Yet if the crowd was too articulate, 
its impartiality was never in question. Wilding's 
cool and judicious defence, no less than Gobert's 
inspired attack, drew its cheers. Paris had learned 
something of the game's finer shades. It had realised 
that matches are won as much with the head as with 
the hand. 

Other vivid scenes at St. Cloud crowd the mind. 
Froitzheim's victory with less opposition in 1912, 
when the competition was first launched ; the portent 
of the coming storm, soon to threaten the very vitals 
of Paris, when the German champion and his com- 
patriots failed to follow their entries which had come 
in May 1914 even their hotel rooms had been booked ; 
the German victory in the doubles in 1913, when 
R. Kleinschroth and Baron von Bissing (a nephew 
of the notorious Governor of Brussels), having beaten 
the Austrians, Kinzl and von Wesseley, actually 
defeated Wilding and Froitzheim in the final. At 
least four couples were superior to this German pair, 
but luck favoured them, for Decugis and Germot, 
having put out Rahe and the younger Kleinschroth, 
were required to tackle Wilding and Froitzheim on 
the same day, and, though a better balanced couple 
and more aggressive, lost the fifth set by a ball's 
breadth. 

Then there was the superlative play of Laurentz 
last year in three finals, all of which he won he 
defeated Gobert in the singles for the first time since 
the war ; the advent of Shimidzu, the Japanese, in 
Europe, the discovery of Alonso, the present Spanish 
champion, and of young Blackbeard, of South Africa, 
who must assuredly go much further. Though the 



PLACES AND PLAYERS ON THE CONTINENT 61 

Stade Francais is modelled on Wimbledon, its atmo- 
sphere is quite different less solemn and unquestion- 
ably more buoyant. If good Americans are supposed 
to go to Paris when they die, the spirits of the best 
Americans would surely select Paris in May. Those 
that are absolutely blameless might choose the motor 
run through the Bois and on to St. Cloud. 

I am reserving some recollections of the French 
and Italian Riviera for the next chapter, and a brief 
record of two visits to Sweden will be found in " Under 
Cover." My experience of lawn tennis in Spain is 
confined to Barcelona ; the attractions of San 
Sebastian and Madrid are in prospect. Wilding was 
my companion and doubles partner in Barcelona ; we 
went on one year from Cannes, importing nothing but 
Wilding's growing [reputation. The Spaniards at that 
time had more enthusiasm than experience, and we 
managed to " sweep the board/' the Civil Governor 
of the city presenting us with gold-handled walking- 
sticks for winning the handicap doubles from owe 
forty. Wilding promptly lost this ornamental emblem 
of fame ; mine is waiting the proper ceremonial 
occasion. I recall that we were met on arrival in 
Barcelona by the secretary of the tournament, given 
a brief interval for shaving and breakfast, and then 
summoned to the ground ; that on arrival we found 
deserted courts, learning later that, in deference 
to the Spanish temperament, the local custom was to 
fix matches at least an hour before they were expected 
to begin. Here, as elsewhere abroad, the hospitality 
was overwhelming, scarcely conducive to the best 
training. 

The amazing recovery of Belgium after her terrible 
tribulations is extended to her national games. Soon 
after the Armistice, lawn tennis began a new lease of 



62 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

life at Brussels, and even in the gun-ravaged cities of 
Ostend and Antwerp it quickly took root again. Of 
course the evolution of new talent, as in England, has 
been arrested ; neutral Holland had an advantage in 
this respect, revealed at Arnheim last year when the 
Dutchmen beat South Africa in the Davis Cup, and a 
young champion, Diermerkool, came to the front as an 
international. But it can only be a year or two before 
Belgium matures players of real distinction. Her 
capacity for Phoenix-like organisation was shown at 
the recent Olympic Games, a remarkable post-war 
reunion of athletes. The weather was unkind to the 
Olympic tournament, and the absence of the Americans 
and of Gobert, Patterson, and Kingscote restricted the 
representative quality of the lists. But I witnessed 
some very spirited lawn tennis on the Beerschot courts 
on this occasion, notably the final of the singles in 
which Louis Raymond, of South Africa, to everybody's 
surprise, defeated Kumagae, the brilliant Japanese, 
both men driving terrifically with their left arms. 
Max Woosnam and Turnbull brought honour to 
England by winning the doubles, while the large 
gallery enjoyed the rare distinction of witnessing a 
match in which Mile Lenglen was on the losing side. 
This was in the semi-final of the ladies' doubles in 
which Mrs. McNair and Miss K. McKane opposed the 
champion and Mile D'Ayen, and just beat them after 
Mile Lenglen, supporting a partner several classes 
behind her, had made a desperate effort to turn the 
tide. 

At this meeting, too, I saw a match which, played 
in three sections, divided by a night and subsequently 
by a summary withdrawal of the ball-boys for a self- 
appointed luncheon interval, lasted five hours and 
three-quarters. The winner was Gordon Lowe and 



PLACES AND PLAYERS ON THE CONTINENT 63 

the loser Zerlendi of Greece. This is certainly an 
Olympic record, and would be an absolute match 
record if the war had not postponed a certain club 
match in England for nearly five years, this contest 
starting in 1914 and ending in 1919. My friend 
Chevalier Paul de Borman was referee at the Olympic 
tournament and deserves credit for conducting a 
difficult gathering under trying circumstances. One 
of his minor trials was the close proximity of the 
Stadium. Wild shouts from the tribunes punctuated 
almost every stroke ; but this defect was unavoid- 
able. What hampered him more was the discovery 
that, at the appointed hour for their match, some of 
the competitors had gone to the Stadium and there 
lost all count of time in the ecstatic fervour of cheering 
their countrymen on the track. 

Of Germany and Austria before the war I have 
written in another volume, 1 but I may be permitted 
to say that the tournaments of Homburg and Baden- 
Baden, when managed by Englishmen, had very great 
attractions, no less on the social than on the lawn 
tennis side. Mr. Charles Voigt, the pioneer of inter- 
national lawn tennis on the Continent, was a splendid 
organiser when I first went over. I recall two matches 
at Homburg in which Wilding, a somewhat under- 
trained finalist, was on the losing side against Froitz- 
heim, the German champion sliding into position to 
make his fine passing drives with great skill. After 
one of these contests both Wilding and Froitzheim 
went on to Baden a delectable spot in August for any 
tournament and the betting on this return encounter 
assumed exciting proportions. Luckily for British 
money, the New Zealander went into strict training, 
as he so easily could, and the result was never in doubt, 

1 The Complete Lawn Tennis Player (Methuen). 



64 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

though Froitzheim, to give him his due, always had 
more natural genius than the man who usually beat 
him. It was at Baden that Wilding and I paired in 
the doubles and won them at the expense of Froitzheim 
and Baron von Lersner, the German Peace delegate in 
Paris. I remember nothing extraordinary about this 
final except that some of von Lersner's relations formed 
themselves into a kind of claque and seemed especially 
dispirited when we were drawing near to victory. I 
met the leading German players in several countries 
beside their own, in England, France, and America, and 
I never found them anything but good sportsmen, 
particularly abroad. In method, they were more like 
ourselves at our best than like the French or the 
Australians. That is to say, they were all-court 
players, without extremes in service or volleying and 
with a correct idea of angles for ground stroke play. 
Their hard-court training naturally made them more 
severe hitters than the English. Temperamentally 
(except Froitzheim) they did not possess our per- 
sistence or sang-froid. Winning, they could play 
brilliantly ; once collared by a superior tactician, they 
would crumble badly. But watching them for a set 
or even two sets at Wimbledon or in Paris the ordinary 
spectator would be greatly impressed with their merits, 
of which speed of foot and of drive were the chief 
attributes. 

Austria-Hungary used to run, and may run again, 
several large tournaments, beautifully staged. Vienna, 
Marienbad, Kissingen, Budapest, not only had most 
attractive courts but equally attractive players. Their 
best, Kinzl, von Wesseley, Count Salm and others, 
have visited England. Count Salm was a remarkable 
personality, as strong as an ox, Mishu-like in his 
heterodox driving, at all times a whimsical character. 



PLACES AND PLAYERS ON THE CONTINENT 65 

He did not appreciate defeat, and after I had once 
gained a lucky victory over him in singles at Mentone 
he smashed three rackets across his knee as if they 
were light canes. At St. Cloud, when playing Gordon 
Lowe on the eve of the war a nightmare match which 
the Austrian won he amused himself and the large 
crowd by squirting soda water over his head from a 
syphon as he crossed over. On his visit to Wimbledon 
in 1913, Salm was more placid, but the passing trains 
drew from him in the midst of a rally the exclamation, 
" Every locomotive in the world is letting off steam 
outside this court/' I confess to a former liking for 
this spirited individual ; he could be so audaciously 
quaint. 

The Italians, like the Spaniards, are making pro- 
gress, and with it some potential champions. The 
country has many charming hard courts, notably 
those at Rome. Switzerland has attracted the British 
player ever since the Continent offered facilities for 
play. There is no resort without its open tournament, 
staged as a rule amid delightful scenery. At least 
two famous internationals, Kingscote and R. N. 
Williams, made Switzerland their lawn tennis nursery. 
They practised frequently together at Geneva, and the 
close observer will see several points of resemblance 
both in their style and methods. As proof of Swiss 
enterprise the covered courts at St. Moritz, Geneva, 
and Lausanne may be mentioned. That at St. Moritz 
is illuminated for evening play ; in this matter of 
artificial lighting, by the way, Switzerland and Sweden 
are much ahead of this country. 



CHAPTER V 

RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS 

IT is getting on for twenty years since I first took 
a racket to the Riviera. From that day, with 
the exception of the war interregnum, I have not 
missed a season, so I suppose I may speak of its dis- 
tinctive charms with some of the experience of an 
habitue. Lawn tennis in the South of France is now 
almost indigenous to the soil, that fine, red, adiactinic 
earth which, excavated from the Esterelles, rolls out, 
when properly laid down, into a perfect playing surface. 
Its season, compared with California or Rhodesia, may 
be comparatively brief ; for the heat is too enervating 
for anything but an evening knock in the early summer, 
while rains are a deterrent later. Yet, from mid- 
November to mid-April, and even into May, in those 
months when England and Northern Europe can be 
climatically unkind, the Riviera offers sun-dowered 
courts for the physical and mental recuperation of 
mankind. 

Prosperous as the game had become in the South 
before the war, though not without its vicissitudes, 
its speedy revival after the Armistice and its develop- 
ment since are nothing short of remarkable an ex- 
tension all the more noteworthy when the withdrawal 
of supporters from the Central Powers is considered. 
I suppose the main reason is the fact that, just prior 
to 1914, the boy and girlhood of France had begun to 
accept the pastime as a convention of social life, and 



66 






RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS 67 

the youth of the country deemed it expedient to 
celebrate the preservation of national liberty and its 
own freedom from military shackles by an extension 
of la vie au grand d'air. Thus many of the boys and 
. girls whom I saw initiated into the mysteries of the 
game at St. Cloud in '12 and '13 have now developed 
into zealous players anxious to exploit their maturing 
skill in that department of their country which offers 
winter facilities. Further, the great influx of American 
visitors whole families with racket cases in their 
baggage now follow in the footsteps of Dr. James 
Dwight, a pioneer with the Renshaw twins at Cannes 
in the mid-eighties has more than rilled the void left 
by the Germans and the Austrians. The English and 
Scots come much more freely than they used to do, 
probably propelled by the wider distribution of 
wealth ; many Belgians evicted summarily from their 
own land in 1914 became grateful exiles on the Riviera, 
and now return to renew their friendship ; snow- 
bound Scandinavia sends players to a snowless coast ; 
a goodly number of Russians have fled from the 
disruptive chaos of their own country ; Italians and 
Spaniards are drifting to places where their increasing 
talent can be measured and approved. 

When I first went out the centre of lawn tennis 
gravity was at the Place Mozart, Nice, the site of the 
Nice Club. That institution still flourishes and has 
lately gained a new distinction by the appointment 
of M. Charles Lenglen, father of the incomparable 
Suzanne, as hon. secretary, his daughter practising 
almost daily on the club courts invariably against 
men, let me add. But because of its situation in the 
heart of a city, and consequently of its restricted 
space, the Nice Club, while retaining its traditions 
and the South of France championships, has shed 



68 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

some of its prestige both east and west, in the direction 
of Cannes and Monte Carlo. New and spacious courts 
for the Nice Club are planned, bringing Nice into line 
with other Riviera resorts. Cannes has now eight or 
nine open tournaments to the two or three at Nice, 
while the Monte Carlo meeting at the end of February, 
always a cosmopolitan gathering with an attractive 
prize-list, now ranks as the pilce de resistance of the 
season. 

This last fact is rather curious when it is realised 
that the courts and conditions at Monte Carlo, up to 
1920 at any rate, were not so conducive to high- 
standard play as those at Cannes or Mentone. Even 
before the arena was moved down to the Condamine, 
within a few yards of the drying-beach of the Monaco 
laundresses, the two courts which Mr. Charles Voigt 
controlled behind the Hotel de Paris scarcely possessed 
championship attributes, though they were infinitely 
to be preferred to the green-lacking, hotel-girded 
courts near the harbour. A sybaritic hotel now 
covers the original site, but memories of their fame 
will survive and their legends will doubtless multiply. 

Their opening was not without its amusing incident. 
A quartette of giants were invited over from Cannes 
to give an exhibition of their championship skill before 
a crowd of patrons and patronesses gaily caparisoned. 
The players arrived by train and were met at the 
station by a solemn, silk-hatted deputation of Casino 
directors, headed by M. Blanc. Conducted to a 
sumptuous luncheon-table and there succumbing to 
the florid oratory of the toast-givers, the visitors so 
far went out of strict training that when the hour for 
their match arrived they were more disposed for leap- 
frog than for lawn tennis. If I am not mistaken, the 
genial Dr. Eaves opened the exhibition match by 



RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS 69 

projecting a ball which fell into the Tir de Pigeon, a 
considerable distance outside the court ; his next 
attempt, also a fault, touched the ground in front of 
his own service line. For the first two games no rally 
of any serious consequence could be constructed, and 
the umpire had some difficulty in securing the inter- 
change of sides every alternate game. Nobody, of 
course, in* the least minded these pleasantries, since 
most of the spectators had been fellow-guests at the 
luncheon, and probably few of them smiled when the 
next day they read in the local press a vivid description 
of the champions' " unparalleled skill." 

Soon afterwards, in the late nineties, the Dohertys 
began to take pride of place on the Riviera, and for 
a decade they were nearly as invincible on its hard, 
sun-dowered courts as elsewhere. At Monte Carlo 
they were ever a powerful magnet, with a following 
nearly as great as the modern Lenglen, and as popular 
and as unassuming off the court as on it. From 1897 
to 1906 without a break one or other of the brothers 
won the Monte Carlo singles. Sometimes they both 
reached the final and played a fraternal match or 
half a match to please the gallery ; they never would 
fight out, either here or in England, a blood battle 
between themselves. Was it surprising ? They 
played solely for the love of the game ; personal 
rivalry was unknown to them. But they did not 
always win their laurels easily, nor were they immune 
from defeat. 

The joint entry of the Dohertys and Smith and 
Riseley made the Monte Carlo meeting of 1903 
especially memorable. The Gloucestershire pair, then 
the doubles champions, had lowered the colours of the 
Dohertys at Wimbledon the previous summer, and a 
return match was eagerly anticipated. As the elder 



70 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Doherty was paired with G. W. Hillyard in the open 
doubles, it seemed impossible to realise this expecta- 
tion. But the resourceful Voigt was equal to the 
occasion. He induced the brothers to enter as a pair 
for the handicap doubles, roped in Smith and Riseley 
as well, put both combinations on the same mark, and 
then drew them to meet in the second round. So the 
decks were cleared for action. I doubt whether the 
Dohertys, though out for victory and carrying the 
stakes of their supporters, were quite so keen or so 
well conditioned as their rivals. Be that as it may, 
they found Riseley at his best and Smith in brilliant 
driving fettle, and were beaten after a close first set 
(11-9, 6-3, 6-4). The match was made a " five- 
setter " by arrangement. Each side won five suc- 
cessive games in the opening set ; then the loss of 
the service exercised its normal influence on the match. 
At the same meeting the units of these pairs met 
in singles. Smith's footwork, never so fluent as 
H. L.'s, was impeded on the sand surface ; he could 
not run round his backhand as he could on grass. 
Playing chiefly from the back of the court, Laurie 
beat Smith 6-2, 6-2. Then he scratched to his 
brother, the holder, in the semi-final, and R. F. met 
Riseley, who had defeated Ritchie with something in 
hand. A great match followed. Riseley, reconciling 
his game to hard-court conditions, never of the best, 
played in a manner that excited the enthusiasm of 
the crowd. In the third game of the first set, however, 
he had the misfortune to slip and cut his knee an 
incident which delayed his challenge. R. F. Doherty 
was a set up and 5-3 when Riseley fought with great 
skill and courage. He squared the set, and level 
pegging was registered until " fourteen-all/' when 
Reggie forfeited his service and his opponent went out 



RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS 71 

at 16-14. Then Riseley retired, with both fairly well 
spent. 

A little later in the same season S. H. Smith, now 
more acclimatised, met H. L. in the final of the South 
of France championship at Nice. A terrific five-set 
match resulted, Smith winning the first two sets, the 
holder the next three. Laurie carried out his usual 
plan when engaging Smith ; he ran " a hundred miles " 
from corner to corner, chasing the bombarding drives 
of his antagonist and waiting patiently for the chance 
to come up on something softer from Smith's back- 
hand. It was a scheme of tactics the Americans 
who met Smith at Wimbledon could never assimilate, 
and doubtless did not possess the ground strokes to 
exploit. 

After he resigned the championship in 1906, H. L. 
was twice defeated in singles at Monte Carlo once in 
1907 by his countryman, Ritchie, and again in 1909 
by F. B. Alexander, the American international. I 
witnessed both these memorable matches, and, while 
giving every credit to both victors, I do not think 
it can be said honestly that the hitherto undefeated 
ex-champion was at his best or brightest. First-class 
lawn tennis is an exacting taskmaster ; no man can 
return to it and regain his touch and temper without 
assiduous practice. After-war results in 1919 proved 
that beyond question. H. L. had not dropped his 
racket, and had been playing doubles with most of his 
old skill intact ; but he had begun to woo and win 
another and very different love the royal and ancient 
game of golf and some of the sting, as well as some 
of the zest, had departed from his game. However, 
Ritchie's victory in the final of 1907, gained in three 
long vantage sets (8-6, 7-5, 8-6), caused quite a 
flutter throughout the lawn tennis dovecots, both in 






72 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Europe and in America. Ritchie had defeated Laurie 
under cover at Queen's three years earlier, when Laurie 
was certainly in better trim, so that his second victory 
cannot be called a fluke. On the other hand, Ritchie 
had been H. L.'s victim on numerous occasions, on 
grass, wood, and sand, and I think my old friend would 
be the first to admit that he found his opponent below 
his best form on the Condamine court. As at Queen's 
in the autumn of 1904, Ritchie attacked at close 
quarters at every opportunity. Volleying is never so 
profitable as when the other man may not be disposed 
physically to counter-volley. There was just the extra 
push in Ritchie's attack to win the fateful points of 
long vantage games ; just enough disconcerting sun- 
rays to embarrass a player short of Riviera practice. 

H. L.'s two defeats on the same court in 1909 were 
due to the same causes, exercised perhaps a little more 
acutely for he " came back " at this meeting after 
two years' comparative retirement. I was interested 
in both results in one as a supporter off the court, in 
the other as an opponent on the court. Before we 
went over to Monte, Laurie and I had been having some 
practice singles together at the Beau Site, Cannes- 
fair ly level matches, with H. L. conceding 15. His 
strokes were as facile as ever, but they seemed to have 
lost some of their snap, while he tired quickly. We 
chanced to meet in the third round of the Monte Carlo 
Cup, and to my great surprise, volleying all the time, I 
took the second set. 

In the next round, the semi-final, he had quite a 
narrow squeak against Ritchie, who was bustling 
throughout, and then in the final met Alexander, 
returning home via Europe after a Davis Cup pilgrim- 
age in Australia. With his break service, fast dip- 
ping forehand drive and check volleys, executed at 



RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS 73 

unfamiliar angles, Alexander had been shaking up all 
the members of the Nice Club, and had won the club 
championship before coming on to Monte for the open 
meeting. Yet, aggressive player as he was, his chances 
against H. L., who had never once fallen to an 
American racket, were not considered rosy. Never- 
theless, a countryman of the visitor the late Mr. A. C. 
Bostwick, a Standard Oil magnate was so enamoured 
of Alexander's play that he offered to lay a hundred 
louis level in his favour. Englishmen took up this 
challenge readily, and a pool was quickly formed. I 
remember meeting H. L. in the rooms on the evening 
before the match, and telling him of Bostwick's con- 
fidence. His reply was to hand me ten louis, with the 
injunction, "You might get that on for me anony- 
mously/' Of all players H. L. was the least boastful, 
and this expression of his assurance did but strengthen 
my own opinion. Unfortunately, our champion, out 
of training all through the tournament, came into 
court a spent warrior. He was beaten in three 
sets (7-5, 6-4, 6-1). After leading 4-2 in the first 
set, Alexander's sweater then unremoved, Doherty 
never seemed able to get his opponent's measure 
again. The American's sliced service and chopped 
volleys skewed in the loose sand ; he attacked with 
increasing confidence and raced merrily through the 
third set. Previous to the final, Laurie and the Countess 
Schulenburg a famous and almost invincible pair on 
the Riviera had gone down in the mixed doubles to 
Miss J. Tripp and myself after a very tight finish. I 
remember that H. L. and the Countess led 5-2 in the 
final set, and that, mainly as a result of Miss Tripp's 
Smith-like drives, which appeared to demoralise the 
German lady at the finish, we took the next five games. 
In the final we met Ritchie and Miss A. N. G. Greene, 



74 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

the latter having won the ladies' singles. When we 
dropped the first set at 6-1, I thought how " flukey " 
our rather sensational victory in the previous round 
would appear. This reflection must have steadied my 
ardour, for we won the second and third sets at 6-3. 
Both in that year and in 1912 Miss Tripp and I en- 
joyed an unexpected run of success, in the latter year 
winning successively at San Remo, Mentone, Nice, and 
Cannes. We were only defeated in the final at Monte 
Carlo by Wilding and Frl. Rieck. 

Monte Carlo had a new venue for its open tourna- 
ment this year (1921). The old Condamine courts, 
lacking almost everything except a history, were 
replaced by the luxurious La Festa courts, standing 
high on the mountain-side above the Casino. It 
was my privilege last January to play in the in- 
auguratory matches, and I can testify to the money, 
time, and care expended on their equipment. Ground 
in Monaco is as difficult to find as in the City of 
London, but the Administration solved the problem 
by constructing three courts and a club-house on 
the roof of a huge motor-garage. The surface of 
the first and the equipment of the second were made 
as perfect as enterprise would permit. Permanent 
seating accommodation for six hundred spectators 
was provided round the first court, and four knock- 
up courts sandwiched in the limited space. The 
Director of lawn tennis at Monte Carlo, Mr. Simond, 
had the satisfaction of controlling in March the largest 
tournament ever held in Monaco a meeting at which 
Mile Lenglen carried off three challenge cups without 
the loss of a set. It was a tribute to her genius that 
when Suzanne was out of court the crowd was com- 
paratively thin ; you could not get a seat for love or 
money when she was playing. Neither the Renshaws 



RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS 75 

at Wimbledon nor the Dohertys at Homburg proved 
such a social draw as this young French lady of 
twenty-one. 

During the seven years before the war the outstand- 
ing figure was Anthony Wilding, at his best absolutely 
unbeatable on the Riviera hard courts. The first 
year that he came out, fresh from Cambridge, H. L. 
Doherty beat him at Monte Carlo, but he gave an 
earnest of coming triumphs by taking a love set from 
the great man. Wilding was then lodging with me at 
a small and inexpensive hotel near the station a gay 
but never riotous youth, eschewing all intoxicants and 
eating heartily of tangerines at every meal. Defying 
convention, he would attempt to run the gauntlet of 
stern officialdom at the Casino by entering in grey 
" bags " and a Norfolk jacket, for all the world as if 
he were strolling down Trumpington Street. Chal- 
lenged by the janitor, who pointed gravely to his 
belt, hanging loosely down, he removed the offending 
article and handed it to the official, passing smilingly 
through the portals before the latter had recovered his 
composure. 

Of all Riviera competitors, Wilding was the fittest 
and thereby the most confident. On the rare occasions 
when he indulged, even slightly, in the world's good 
things, he suffered for his lapse. Thus Ritchie beat 
him on the Beau Site court in 1907 a week after 
Wilding had romped through his old opponent at Nice. 
I remember that Nice tourney well. The brothers 
Wright, Beals and Irving, were competitors, and 
Ritchie beat them both in two love sets a gluttonous 
performance. If one had not known that both 
Americans, and Beals especially, were in holiday mood, 
intent on seeing sights rather than a lawn tennis ball, 
one might have wondered how Wilding, who took two 



76 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

love sets from Ritchie in the final, would have defeated 
the Wrights ! 

Wilding won both the Nice and the Monte Carlo 
cups outright. He probably strewed the Riviera courts 
with more love sets than any other player of any 
country. Decugis or one of the Germans usually gave 
him his best game. I recall one final at Monte Carlo 
(1912) in which Decugis proved quite a thorn in his 
side, nor were Wilding's chances improved by a nasty 
fall on the red sand at a critical moment. His playing 
palm was cut open and the blood streamed down the 
handle, drops falling on the court. Decugis, who was 
superstitious, bent down and touched one of those spots 
when he crossed over, whereupon an avid supporter of 
the French champion (who was taking a line and ought 
to have remained silent in his chair) rose excitedly 
and shouted, " Bravo ! Bravo ! Decugis wins ! " An 
exhibition of unseemly partisanship which will never 
leave my memory. Neither the hurt nor the demon- 
stration shook Wilding's determination. I suggested 
he should leave the court for a moment and wash his 
hand. He smiled deprecatingly, went on perfectly 
calmly, and won. 

Several exciting and one or two amusing doubles 
in the South come to mind. I have mentioned the 
Dohertys against Smith and Riseley at Monte. The 
brothers were beaten again at Nice in 1908, their first 
appearance in public since they lost the doubles cham- 
pionship at Wimbledon in 1906, and their last appear- 
ance on any public court as a pair. In this year R. F. 
was little better than a " dug out." The brothers had 
been playing well against Ball-Greene and Eaves in 
practice at the Beau Site and with their usual good 
nature they consented to turn out. I had made a 
special journey over to Cannes to remind the Dohertys 



RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS 77 

that a third victory at Nice would give them permanent 
possession of the doubles cups a fact neither had 
remembered. They had won them in 1904 and 1905. 
People trained and motored from all parts to witness the 
final between the brothers and Ritchie and Wilding. 
Eaves was busy behind the scenes with a book, Mr. 
Vanderbilt, on whose yacht Wilding was staying, 
having the hardihood to lay as much as two to one 
on his guest and his partner. These, of course, were 
not the correct odds, although Wilding and Ritchie 
then held the doubles championship at Wimbledon. 

Vanderbilt won his money. The brothers only won 
one set in four. R. F. was the weak factor in the 
combination. He was indisposed, and seemed quite 
unable to return the service with any force or con- 
sistency. H. L. fought gallantly and saved the third 
set when all looked over ; but the attack remained with 
the other side. I never saw Wilding and Ritchie in 
more confident fettle ; they took the fourth set and 
the match with the loss of only one game a con- 
spicuous triumph. The Dohertys were not at their 
best a long way below it but the advanced formation 
of their opponents on this occasion and the success it 
achieved suggests to my mind now, as it had suggested 
before, that, given ground-stroke vigour and accuracy 
(such as the earlier Americans who opposed the 
Dohertys never possessed), combined with punitive, 
close-quarter volleying, the Dohertys' volleying posi- 
tion would have proved a material, and probably a 
fatal, handicap in modern doubles. 

The year before, on the same court, H. L., this time 
paired with Ritchie, had won a remarkable final against 
Wilding and Decugis, the more fancied couple. The 
brothers Wright, recovered from their singles lethargy, 
had defeated Bobbie Powell and myself after we had 



78 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

been within a stroke of victory, and had then gone 
down to Wilding and Decugis. Doherty and Ritchie 
had easily accounted for Gordon Lowe and D. P. 
Rhodes. Wilding and the French champion opened 
the final with convincing confidence. They were soon 
a set up with a good lead in the second. Then the 
mercury in the Frenchman's system began to wobble ; 
soon it sank right down. The brilliant server and 
smasher became a double-faulter and a snatcher at 
lobs ; the weakness affected his service returns ; from 
that moment his side was doomed ; the English couple 
took the last two sets at 6-1. Perhaps it was not 
altogether Max's fault. Wilding was ever a difficult 
partner to link up with ; I knew that by painful 
personal experience. He needed enormous elbow- 
room, and somehow his vigorous drives and profound 
concentration made his partner self-conscious and 
weaker than usual in his weak spots. Though we 
won several open doubles together, both at home and 
abroad, I let him down badly two or three times, 
notably in the final at Cannes against Mavrogordato 
and Rahe, and at Mentone against Ritchie and 
Simond. Tony needed a partner whose play he 
could respect. Thus he never had a better one than 
Norman Brookes ; the master subdued his personality, 
I suppose. 

The Allen twins were familiar figures on the 
Riviera courts for many years, as their father, the 
Rev. H. B. Allen, was before them. Before the Con- 
tinental school developed speed of attack, they were 
usually in the running for the chief prizes. If E. R. 
had his tail up, he could give trouble to any man, 
even in his later years. It was once my good fortune, 
in a comparatively weak field (Wilding had been 
compelled to take to his bed after his Monte Carlo 



RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS 79 

fall, mentioned previously), to reach the final of the 
singles at Mentone and there oppose E. R. We 
played in the morning under a hot sun. I realised 
that my only possible chance was to bustle the twin 
at the net and conceivably drain his stamina. E. R. 
opened with a love set, passing me with supreme 
confidence ; then he must have slacked off, for I took 
the second set at 6-3. In the third he was on top all 
the way. C. G. was hovering in the wings, a solicitous 
and articulate second to his brother, and as we crossed 
over he declaimed audibly that my number was up 
and that I might as well retire. I shared his opinion, 
but with feigned bravado replied, " My dear Charlie, 
you will have to get another brandy and soda for Roy. 
I am going to win the fourth set/' And win it, by 
some miracle, I did, after Vantage games. More 
refreshment was served out to E. R. by C. G. The 
carrier was just a little anxious. "Forehand, you 
fool ! " he almost shouted to his brother. But he 
need not have bothered. To my great surprise, for 
I had now visions of carrying the fight to its limit, 
E. R. played with his first set freshness in the final 
bout. He won a love set. Either he had been re- 
serving himself for the coup de grace, or C. G/s last 
concoction had proved more potent than any of the 
others. , 

I was concerned in another amusing match at 
Mentone (delightfully picturesque courts, by the way, 
self-owned by the club) in 1913, when Count Salm and 
I partnered Wilding and Robert Kleinschroth in the 
doubles. The fiery Salm had beaten Kleinschroth in 
the singles, and the relations between these two, 
Austrian and German, were a little strained. But I 
never dreamed, nor did Wilding, that at the critical 
stage of our double, when each side had won a set, 



80 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Kleinschroth and Salm would be in deadly grips in the 
middle of the court. One or other had said something 
in German as we crossed over, and the next thing the 
astonished gallery witnessed was an angry wrestling 
bout. The eccentric Salm had brought a comb down 
to the umpire's chair, and I remember Wilding picked 
it up and started combing the hair of his militant 
partner. I endeavoured to put my arms round the 
Count. Eventually they quieted down and the match 
proceeded, Salm celebrating a pyrrhic victory by some 
very wild driving. The final was a match full of 
further extravagances. Rahe and the younger 
Kleinschroth lost only three games in the first two 
sets; they did not win a single game in the next 
two sets ; in the fifth set Wilding and Robert 
Kleinschroth just lost on the post. 

Cannes now possesses something like two dozen 
courts, and with Tom Fleming, Tom Burke, and his 
sons available as coaches this delectable place is an 
admirable nursery for the game. By age and tradition, 
the Beau Site must come first. Every champion from 
Renshaw to Mile Lenglen has trod its famous orange- 
grove court. There is even a link between past and 
present in the person of Napoleon, the Peter Pan ball- 
boy, who scouted for Lawford and the Renshaws and 
still scouted up to last year. Going back to the Beau 
Site after the war I inquired for Napoleon. There was 
an ominous silence. Nobody had heard of him since 
he had gone forth as a poilu. It was assumed he was 
dead. But one fine morning in January, 1920, there 
crept to the edge of the piazza a little man wearing a 
growth of beard and a winsome air. It was Napoleon, 
recently demobilised. 

Reigning kings and fallen monarchs have played 
and watched others play at the Beau Site. A list of 



RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS 81 

its patrons would include not only most of those who 
have been crowned metaphorically at Wimbledon, 
but some who have been crowned in actuality at 
Westminster, Moscow, and Stockholm. The mother 
of the German ex-Crown Princess used to compete in 
the mixed doubles, so did the Grand-Duke Michael. 
The Duke of Cambridge once gave away the prizes, 
expressing regret that officers of the British Army had 
not benefited more by the physical training of lawn 
tennis. King Edward frequently came to see the 
Dohertys as he did at Homburg. King Gustav of 
Sweden, an avid devotee, has sampled the first court 
more than once. Mr. Balfour has played, and not 
without success, in one of its tournaments. The 
ana of the Beau Site would almost make an in- 
dependent chapter. It would have to embrace some 
mention of the Beau Site fancy-dress balls, its freak 
matches, its supper-parties, even its billiard contests. 
No setting for lawn tennis throughout the world is 
quite so enchanting as the Beau Site garden ; cer- 
tainly no shrubs or flowers have listened to so much 
political and social gossip. 

The Carlton courts, scene of Mile Lenglen's first 
victory in open singles on the Riviera she was then 
fourteen are nearer the Casino and the hub of 
fashion ; comparatively new, they have yet to make 
tradition. The Cannes Club, much improved and 
extended under Mr. H. E. Atkinson's control, is 
farther west. I have a grateful memory of the Cannes 
Club, for, when most of the greater lights had gone 
home, I nearly won all three open events one year. 
Its courts are less protected than those at the Beau 
Site, but there are many more of them, and the 
appurtenances of the club-house are now first class. 
Hyeres, to the west, and Bordighera and San Remo in 
6 



82 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Italy to the east, may be regarded as Riviera outposts. 
Each has had successful open meetings, that at San 
Remo decided in a delightfully rural environment a 
less strenuous, because smaller, tournament than any 
on the French coast. 

I must not forget to add that Riviera grounds have 
been augmented by the charming Bristol courts at 
Beaulieu. Midway on the winding coast between 
Nice and Monte Carlo, and easily accessible to each by 
train or motor, Beaulieu is a favoured winter base, 
offering all the scenic and climatic virtues of the larger 
resorts without their noise and bustle. The Bristol 
courts are situated in the gardens of the Hotel Bristol ; 
they 'are well sheltered from the wind and have an 
excellent background. C. H. Ridding, the former 
Gloucestershire amateur, is the coach. 

Before I close these random Riviera recollections 
a tribute, however broken, must be paid to the labours 
and influence of George Simond. He has been 
referee, handicapper, and manager of nearly every 
open meeting in those parts for many years years 
of fluctuating fortune and not without some stress. 
His conscientious attention to every detail, scrupulous 
fairness, unfailing tact when handling players of 
different nationalities and conflicting temperaments, 
have proved qualities of inestimable advantage to the 
game and its traditions in the South of France. He 
has won many a championship in his younger days 
one of the safest and headiest partners R. F. Doherty 
or Wilding ever had. His bridge is as sound as his 
friendship. Only once or twice have I seen him a 
little ruffled. That was when the crowd was kept 
waiting for the arrival of some tardy competitor. I 
remember once interceding strenuously for Wilding 
and Ritchie, whom Simond, using his discretionary 



RIVIERA RECOLLECTIONS 88 

powers, had scratched in the doubles at Cannes because 
Wilding had extended the luncheon interval at some 
neighbouring villa. I thought, and still think, that there 
had been some misunderstanding over the hour through 
a message which had gone astray. Simond stuck to 
his decision, reluctant as he was to impose it. A 
committee meeting was called and we decided against 
G. M., also with the greatest reluctance. But some 
days after Wilding and Ritchie had won the first 
prizes, the French governing body, approached by 
their opponents, debated the matter anew and upheld 
Simond. He will probably remember the incident, 
because the same night he won every rubber of bridge 
against me. 



CHAPTER VI 

THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA 

IT is ten years since I had the privilege to lead an 
English team through South Africa. Thoughts 
far removed from lawn tennis have loaded 
memory's bridge in the interval, but a vivid impression 
of that most enjoyable of all tours must remain. The 
mission was not without its rigours. Altogether in 
four months we travelled twenty thousand miles, 
spent thirty nights in a railway train, played thirty- 
one matches, including three " Tests/' and negotiated 
a programme of sight-seeing and hospitality framed 
on a scale at once generous and exacting. That we 
maintained an absolutely unbeaten health record and 
very nearly an unbeaten match record throughout 
the tour was a source for congratulation. In keeping 
free from illness of any kind we fared better than 
English lawn tennis teams which went through South 
Africa both before and after us. Come to think of 
it, three of George Hillyard's All England Club four 
have passed away R. F. Doherty, W. V. Eaves, and 
Leonard Escombe. Only the captain remains a 
specimen of physical manhood about as hardy and as 
handsome as you would find in all England. Not 
that their trip to South Africa hastened the deaths 
of these three fine players on the contrary ; but I 
know that they found the tour, as we did, more 
strenuous than they had anticipated. 

Four of my personal friends Charles Dixon, 



THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA 85 

Ernest Beamish, Bobbie Powell, and Gordon Lowe 
set out with me from Waterloo, to the accompaniment 
of many good wishes from friends, on a journey which 
was to extend to the Zambesi River and even beyond 
it. The members of the team possessed a variety of 
temperament, as well as of lawn tennis strokes, both 
factors making for gaiety on and off the court and 
eliminating any risk of dullness. " C. P.," senior 
both in age and lawn tennis experience how he 
amazed the Natalians and the Transvaalers by his speed 
of foot and drive, despite his 15^ stone how heartily 
he ate, laughed, and sang the last in bed at night, 
usually finishing the day with a special turn of his 
own, known as " Dixon's Midnight Imitation of Mighty 
Lawn Tennis Players " a thoroughly dishevelled 
figure, crowned with a bowler hat, as he crawled out 
of the train in the morning to shake hands with the 
spruce Mayor and other local bigwigs who had come 
to the station to meet us ever compliant with his 
captain's suggestions, though he had previously cap- 
tained a British Davis Cup team in America never 
less likely to lose a critical match than when his 
opponent was within a stroke of winning it the same 
keen fighter in broiling sun, hurricane, wind, or threaten- 
ing storm " C. P. " was in spirit the youngest of 
the whole team. He lost only one single throughout 
the tour, and that after an uncomfortable journey in 
the guard's van, travelling from Pretoria to Johannes- 
burg. Lord Methuen's A.D.C. we had been the 
guests of the Commander-in-Chief at Headquarters 
House had telegraphed reserving accommodation in 
the train. By some chance, probably unavoidable, 
the order miscarried and, the train having her steam 
up, we hustled into the brake-van and had to stand 
during the whole journey. It was not a severe penalty, 



86 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

and none would have given it a further thought had 
not Dixon, who rather enjoyed mixing himself up in 
his impedimenta, put down his overcoat on one piece 
of luggage, his rackets on the floor, and his English 
mail in the most inconspicuous niche in the compart- 
ment. When he alighted irresponsibly at Jo'burg, 
the visible articles were snatched up and the letters 
left behind. This incident (as well it might) preyed 
on his mind ; he lost to F. E. Cockran (who fell in the 
war) after a three-set match. 

We were playing the Qa Kamba Club, an offshoot 
of the Wanderers, as their name implies virtually 
they were the first six in Johannesburg and I recall 
that Dixon and I finished our respective singles about 
the same time. Playing cautiously from the base-line 
and profiting by my opponent's erratic service, I 
managed to beat De Villiers in straight sets. This 
win, as well as Dixon's defeat, were so unexpected 
that when I met Gordon Lowe, who had just arrived 
from the hotel for his own match, and told him that 
honours were easy and he must now put us ahead, his 
only remark was, " Good old Dickey ! " 

Well, as I have said, Dixon was victorious in all 
his other singles matches. In both his test singles at 
Johannesburg his adversaries only required a point 
for victory ; on each occasion his nerve and resource 
pulled him through. While it might possibly be 
fatal for Dixon to establish a strong winning lead 
he led Larned five-two in the fifth set in the Davis 
Cup match in New York in 1911 and failed to win 
another game he was never " dead " until the last 
shot was fired. One of his most remarkable recoveries 
(of which I was an agitated witness, for I had con- 
fidently supported his chances to win the event out- 
right) occurred in the Welsh championship at Newport. 



THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA 87 

S. M. Jacob was something like five-two and 40 love 
against him in the third set. Dixon got out at 7-5. 
He did not cut things quite so fine in South Africa, 
yet he displayed there, as elsewhere, that latent 
ability for waking up to danger in the nick of time. 

Beamish was the philosopher and handyman on 
the side. To natural chivalry and unselfishness were 
allied humour responding instinctively to the satire 
and wit of Shaw and Chesterton. A more attractive, 
unfidgeting travelling companion it would be im- 
possible to conceive. On court he might not be quite 
so placid ; the artist in him seemed to rebel against 
any outrage to correct style or even to conventional 
dress. But off the court, in ship, train, or in bivouac, 
he was easily the best tempered of the five. Nothing 
disturbed his serenity. He always saw the lighter 
side of every solemn picture. I recollect, for example, 
that when the five of us were out in a couple of canoes 
on the broad Zambesi, a school of hippopotami, 
thrusting up their heads out of the river, snorted in 
rather alarming proximity. As a non-swimmer, I 
was perturbed. Bobbie Powell suggested oracularly 
that I should " assert my authority " and instruct the 
native paddlers to make land instantly. Beamish 
was as merry as the rest of us were grave ; he would 
probably have waited for the hippos and then shaken 
hands with them ; he seemed quite disappointed 
when we landed on a small island and at a safe 
distance watched the school snort themselves out of 
sight. 

On another occasion we descended through the 
Palm Grove to the Boiling Pot to see the mighty 
waters of the Zambesi converge 400 feet below the 
Falls. It was a brilliant day with no hint of rain, 
yet no sooner had we finished lunch in the open, than 



88 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

a storm of unexampled fury burst over our heads. 
The others, with the black boys, made a swift ascent. 
Beamish and I followed more leisurely, wet through 
to the skin. At the top the water was lying several 
inches deep ; every path was blotted out ; our 
companions were out of sight ; thunder and lightning 
were incessant. I never saw such a swift meta- 
morphosis in my life. Beamish was in his element ; 
he might have won the championship at Wimbledon, 
so marked was his delight. Personally I was wondering 
when a streak of lightning was going to fell me to the 
ground, my clothes were sticking to me, and I hadn't 
the dreamiest notion of our whereabouts in relation 
to our hotel. We waded out in one direction, then 
waded back and tried another. Eventually, after 
negotiating a torrent breast-high, we made the railway 
embankment, and by following the rails towards the 
Suspension Bridge regained our quarters. The others 
had got in a quarter of an hour earlier, one of their 
party having been struck mildly by lightning. 

Nor were the excitements of the day over. That 
night a leopard paid its respects to our station. The 
team were playing a mild game of poker in their 
bungalows away from the hotel. Coincident with a 
warning about the leopard the electric light went out 
and an improvised candle revealed a bat scuttling 
round the room much to Powell's alarm. He did 
not share Beamish's keen relish at the prospect of 
playing a double against a leopard and a bat. 

Gordon Lowe was another excellent companion on 
tour, ever anxious to keep himself physically fit, as 
keen as mustard in all important matches, never 
unwilling to take a joke against himself. He did 
better in singles than in doubles, losing only five singles 
throughout the tour, while his victory over Winslow 



THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA 89 

in the last " Test " at Cape Town contributed in no 
small measure to our victory. 

Our small company was completed by R. B. Powell, 
than whom no cheerier, more vibrant lawn tennis 
tourist could possibly be imagined. A sound player, 
using a left arm and a resourceful brain to deceive his 
opponent, one of the best lobbers I have ever known, 
an intrepid poacher and a fast sprinter, Bobbie had 
also many accomplishments off the court. He had a 
good voice, both for public speaking and for singing, 
was a first-rate conversationalist and a diplomatist of 
some resource. Whether at Maxim's in Paris, on the 
roof garden at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, at 
the sumptuous Durban Club, or in his own club in 
Piccadilly, at the Beau Site, Cannes, or in the casino 
at Dinard, I never found R. B. anything but the best 
of company. Like all men who work and play on 
nervous energy, he had reacting days with spirits 
damped and eye out of focus. At Durban in the first 
" Test " he played like a champion ; at Johannesburg 
in the second, he seemed a spent force ; at Cape Town 
in the third, where I partnered him in doubles, his zeal 
and generalship were splendid. Something of a man 
about town, and a former private secretary to the 
Governor-General of British Columbia, his native 
land, he rather prided himself on correct ceremonial. 
Thus he took an extensive wardrobe to South Africa, 
including a silk hat, the receptacle for which was ever 
eluding him. It became quite a common episode for 
the whole team to be hung up at station or quay 
while a hunt was made for R. B.'s precious hat-box. 
It even accompanied him to the Victoria Falls ! Nor 
did he ever mind a dig at these little vanities from 
other members of the team. Overhearing Powell 
rehearsing in his bedroom a speech which he was to 



90 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

deliver the same night at the Kimberley Club banquet, 
Dixon summoned the whole team to the door. 
Through a chink we could see R. B. practising his 
rhetoric in front of a mirror. When we applauded 
and burst in, none laughed louder than poor 
Bobbie. . . . 

Bobbie died a soldier's death at the foot of Vimy 
Ridge. None hated war more nor was less afraid to 
acknowledge his repugnance. He took service almost 
immediately with the Canadian Forces and left a safe 
job at Havre to go up to the fighting line. Captain 
of Canada both at Wimbledon and in America, he 
had also represented the All England Club against 
Germany. He had won the championship of Scotland 
and the Northern title at Manchester. A man who 
had warmed both hands before the fire of life, his 
friends will always mourn him. 

Our arrival in South Africa synchronised with the 
opening of the Union Parliament by the Duke of 
Connaught. We found Cape Town en file, gay with 
flags and bunting in his honour. Four months later, 
when returning to a normal city at the close of our 
tour, I could not resist playing off a little joke on the 
Mayor and Corporation who entertained us to a formal 
lunch at the Town Hall. " Mr. Mayor," I said, in 
replying to the toast of the team, " you have honoured 
us far beyond our deserts. Nothing could be more 
generous than your hospitality. I miss only one thing. 
Four months ago, when we landed in South Africa, 
Cape Town was gaily decorated in our honour. To- 
day I did not see a single flag. Is it possible 
And then, fortunately, somebody laughed, and the 
ratherjawkward silence was broken. 

I am not likely to forget our first match against the 
Western Province at Rondesbosch. It was my privi- 



THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA 91 

lege to open the doubles, and I served two double faults 
in the first game. Perhaps there was some slight 
excuse. Just before going into court I had to make 
first a lightning decision and then a lightning change 
of clothes. It was like this. Through the good offices 
of Sir Francis (now Lord) Hopwood, a passenger in our 
outward vessel, whom I had met some years earlier at 
the Taff Vale railway strike, the Duke and Duchess of 
Connaught and Princess Patricia honoured our first 
match with their presence. Incidentally, since Sir 
Francis had to consult the Duke's pleasure as well 
as an inordinately heavy programme already fixed, I 
made no mention of the possible favour when we met 
the Westein Province officials on arrival. On the 
contrary, I said nothing when these gentlemen ex- 
pressed regret that every moment of the Duke's time 
was booked up. A day or two later, Hopwood 
having kept his word and squeezed our little show 
into the royal itinerary, I received a telegram 
from the Duke's private secretary giving the time 
of his arrival on the ground. The Club secretary 
could scarcely credit his senses when I asked whether 
special seats could be found for the distinguished 
visitors. 

The royal party arrived just as Dixon, to the 
consternation of the crowd, was winning a love set 
against Dr. Rowan, considered by the late R. F. 
Doherty to be the best player in Cape Colony. They 
stayed to the end of a much closer second set, won by 
Dixon after Rowan had led 5-4 and 40 love, and then 
the Duke asked me what match was to follow. I 
replied, " Another single, sir." " Isn't it rather hot 
for singles at this hour of the day ? " he said, expressing 
the hope that something might be seen of a double. 
The programme, of course, had not been altered in 



92 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

any way. I could already see Gordon Lowe's South- 
African opponent coming out of the pavilion, and half 
guessed that Lowe was putting the final touches to his 
hair inside. Beamish and I were the first doubles pair 
down to play. We were both in ordinary clothes. 
Could the two matches be transposed ? I consulted 
the Western Province captain ; he said his two other 
men were quite ready and would go on. So the court 
was empty for five minutes while Beamish and I changed 
with the speed of variety artists. I remember that 
in the hurry I snatched up my partner's sweater, an 
almost exact replica of my own, wondering afterwards 
whether this mistake did not violate one of Ernest's 
cardinal rules. Had it put him off his game I should 
not have been surprised. However, it was the other 
way round. Beamish played well and confidently ; 
I could do nothing right for several games. As we 
were making some progress, our visitors' time expired, 
and the Duke, Duchess, and Princess all stepped down 
on the court and shook hands very graciously. Last 
year, at Cannes, I was amazed to find that the Duke 
had a vivid recollection of his visit to Rondesbosch 
and remembered Dixon's love set. 

Our itinerary was both long and arduous. Climatic 
changes were as varied as the scenery and mode of 
travel. Now the English summer of Cape Town, next 
the damper heat and strong nor'-wester of Port 
Elizabeth, reached by sea ; the alternate rich sunshine 
and heavy rain of the Eastern Provinces in November ; 
greater heat and heavier storms as we entered the 
Transvaal, passing from the vistas and verdure of Cape 
Colony to the rolling plains of the Karroo ; Bloem- 
fontein, fresher and greener than mining Kimberley, 
with luxuriant gardens shaded by willow and gum trees 
and watered by rain falling eighteen days out of thirty- 



THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA 93 

one in December ; once-besieged Ladysmith with its 
shade temperature on our match day of 92, presag- 
ing a dust-storm and brilliant lightning ; a drop of 
3000 feet in a brake-straining train to humid but 
delightful Durban, the beauty city of South Africa ; 
up again to the drier heat of Maritzburg, capital of 
Natal ; so to the Rand and Johannesburg, 6000 feet 
above sea-level, with a heat so dry that one could 
perspire freely and run no risk of chill ; Pretoria with 
an atmosphere almost as hot but not so rarefied ; up 
country in the Zambesi Express, equipped with shower- 
bath, to tropical Rhodesia level going most of the 
time, quite unlike the switchback track of Natal ; the 
phenomena of the Victoria Falls, its spray visible ten 
miles away, its rain forest penetrated by the team in 
old suits of pyjamas ; a long and somewhat hazardous 
canoe journey on the great river to Livingstone, 
reached from the bank by trolley ; back to Salisbury, 
delightful at all times climatically, the home of sport 
and true hospitality ; Bulawayo and the unfenced 
Matoppos with its ever-impressive World's View ; a 
three-day trek by train back to Cape Town. On this 
long train journey, seemingly colourless to the un- 
observant, I thought of what G. W. Steevens, whose 
grave I inspected at Ladysmith, had written : " It is 
only to the eye that cannot do without green that the 
Karroo is unbeautiful ; every other colour meets others 
in harmony tawny sand, silver-grey scrub, crimson- 
lighted flowers like heather, black ribs of rock, puce 
shoots of screes, violet mountains in the middle dis- 
tance, blue fairy battlements guarding the horizon, 
and above all broods the intense purity of the South 
African azure not a coloured thing like the plants 
and the hills, but sheer colour existing by and for 
itself." 



94 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

After a varied experience of railway travelling in 
many countries and under many conditions, I will only 
say that I slept better on the South African trains than 
on any other, and this in spite of steep gradients at 
many points. By good fortune I met at Port Elizabeth, 
our first entraining place, the Divisional Superintendent 
of the C.S.A.R., a most courteous official who had 
piloted Mr. Joseph Chamberlain on his memorable 
mission. Mr. Aspinall was good enough to place at 
our disposal a private coach with three compartments. 
This inestimable boon remained with us as far as 
Queenstown ; it was side-tracked with all our impedi- 
menta on board when we stopped a day or two to play 
a match, and was then tacked on to our train. Not 
that the ordinary sleeping accommodation was to be 
despised. Clean and adequate bedding could at that 
time be secured for a modest half-crown, and save for 
the noise of shunting at an occasional junction sleep 
could be wooed successfully. Feather buyers, cattle 
farmers, and other business men boasted of their 
placid slumber on board. If the air were taken 
outside during the day there was much to observe 
occasionally a herd of young elephants, ostriches 
on the borders of the Karroo, as common as 
grazing cattle, Kaffir huts whose inmates would 
sometimes run a long distance by the side of 
our saloon, offering wares and demanding pence ; 
farther north a veritable concert of humming 
insects. 

I do not think any of us found the thirty odd days 
spent on the rails either tedious or dull. It was a 
relief to rest our muscles after strenuous exercise, some- 
times a relief to get a respite from the riotous hos- 
pitality en route. A good deal of mild poker was 
played, no one man being either the richer or the 



THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA 95 

poorer at the finish. Matches were used instead of 
counters until we secured a supply of the latter at 
Durban. Lowe did not play, but condescended to 
smile on the fluctuating fortunes of the others. Dixon 
was cautious, Powell wily but often " broke/' Beamish 
and I rather irresponsible. Chancing to reach our 
saloon in advance of the others after dinner one night, 
Beamish and I arranged a little plant for Dixon and 
Powell. To allay any suspicion, the first pack was to 
be a normal hand ; when the second was dealt round 
it was designed that Dixon should hold four queens 
and Powell four kings. All went well. The two con- 
spirators, after drawing cards, threw in their hands 
casually. " Dickey " and Bobbie bid up with un- 
abating confidence until the former's natural coyness 
in all gambling transactions and Powell's air of 
supreme recklessness induced Dixon to " see." His 
surprise at finding himself beaten and Powell's dis- 
appointment at losing a much-needed fillip to his 
resources were only ended by the explosive laughter 
of those in the know. 

One of our pleasantest weeks was spent at 
Headquarters House, Pretoria. Field-Marshal Lord 
Methuen, then Commander-in-Chief in South Africa, 
had become a devotee of lawn tennis during the visit 
of Hillyard's team, and, a spectator of our first humble 
efforts at Cape Town, sent one of his Aides to me on 
the courts with an invitation for the whole team to 
visit him up country. Over two months elapsed 
before we reached the Rand, but immediately we got 
within call a telegram came renewing the offer of this 
kind hospitality. Thus the whole five of us came to 
spend a delightful Christmas under the Commander- 
in-Chief's roof. The little break was immensely 
appreciated. Christmas carols were sung at the 



96 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

garrison church, a Christmas sermon was preached 
by the chaplain, and Christmas fare served at Lady 
Methuen's dinner-party at night, the temperature 
meanwhile registering 85 in the shade. Our host had 
two excellent private courts, and took a zealous hand 
himself in several informal sets. He will not mind, I 
am sure, if I relate an amusing incident. Gordon Lowe 
and Captain Beecher (A.D.C.) were opposing Lord 
Methuen and myself. My gallant partner had been 
wounded in action and could not move very quickly 
to return awkward balls. Lowe was playing a little 
too well for the occasion, and, picking up a ball with a 
view to showing him its peculiar seam, I called him 
to the net. There I suggested that our host should be 
given a little more useful practice ; balls should be 
placed within his reach. Judge of my consternation 
when at dinner that night Miss Methuen (now the Hon. 
Mrs. Geoffrey Howard), having overheard the injunc- 
tion, gave my little ruse away. 

Lord Methuen followed our tour closely to the end. 
He and Lady Methuen were daily visitors at the 
Johannesburg " Test/' They invited three of us to 
return to Headquarters House for a second visit (Dixon 
and Powell having private engagements to fulfil) ; 
came to watch our match against the Transvaal at 
Pretoria ; and, finally, Lord Methuen arranged to 
inspect troops at Cape Town when our last " Test " 
was due, and entertained us to a private lunch on 
the eve of our departure. " You had a little pressure 
on Monday/' Lord Methuen wrote to me after one of 
our Johannesburg matches ; " but my presence most 
of Saturday is certain to give you confidence. Don't 
let the Polo Ball beguile you. I go as a hateful 
duty/' 

Before we went up to the Victoria Falls, I re- 



THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA 97 

ceived a letter from Mr. G. C. Latham, secretary of the 
Livingstone Lawn Tennis Club, N.W. Rhodesia, in- 
viting us to extend our tour informally to this Empire 
outpost. " I am afraid/' he wrote, " we could not 
put up any sort of match against you, but if you have 
not had too much tennis already by that time it would 
be much appreciated if you would bring over tennis 
kit and play here one afternoon. We have two quite 
good courts and it would do us all good to see your team 
play." Mr. Latham proposed sending a launch to 
the Falls to bring us up the Zambesi. I telegraphed 
that we would certainly try and fit in this little trip, 
which promised a unique experience. Accordingly, a 
month later, we set out, not in a majestic launch, but 
in two small and frail canoes, a third canoe bearing our 
luggage. Our Matabele paddlers could not commune 
with us in our native tongue, but they made splendid 
progress through the conflicting currents ; we arrived 
without misadventure at the Livingstone boathouse. 
Trolleys propelled by natives and running on a light 
rail carried us to the township three miles distant. It 
was unmercifully hot, and I remember brushing 
bunches of tropical insects off my linen trousers as we 
shot forward on the trolley. The Administrator, Mr. 
A. L. Wallace, made us his guests at Government 
House. Having no newspaper to announce our arrival, 
the executive at the club adopted the device of parading 
a native sandwich boy, armed with a shell of beads 
which served as a rattle. On his back was a scroll of 
paper with these words inscribed in ink : " English 
tennis players will perform in Barotsi Centre when 
bell rings." And to prove that this announcement was 
genuine, when we drove up to the courts from Govern- 
ment House, a native rushed out of the gate clanging 
a bell and then dashed down the street. Our most 
7 



98 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

northerly court was also our softest ; each footstep 
made a clean imprint on the ant-heap. Rain cut short 
the programme on the first day, but next morning, the 
crier having collected the inhabitants, Beamish and 
Lowe played a close double against Dixon and myself. 
The " gate " in Barotsi Centre could not have been 
more appreciative, nor could we have enjoyed the trip 
more. 

Our visit to Stutterheim, the sheep-farming village 
at the base of the Matola Mountains, had its interesting 
features. On our progress up the coast we had seen 
only urban life, met only teams drawn from colonised 
towns. Here we encountered players essentially rural, 
their thoughts centred on the breeding of stock, their 
only opponents those who came to the village court. 
The enthusiasm of Stutterheim was boundless ; our 
visit was felt to be a unique event in the annals of the 
district. The magistrate and the doctor met us with 
Cape carts at the nearest station, four miles away, and 
drove us through pasture uplands, enticing in their 
early summer attire, to our hotel, where a Scottish hero 
of the Boer War was in charge. The court, cleared 
out of the forest, lay opposite. It had been laid down 
by the farmers only two days before our arrival. 
These sturdy fellows had gone out to the neighbouring 
veldt in a farm cart, collected enough ant-heap, and 
spread it tenderly over the old foundation, fearful lest 
a storm, all too frequent at this period, should nullify 
their efforts. Before testing its qualities we saw 
something of the surrounding country. Behind South 
African ponies, four-footed mountaineers to whom 
fatigue was unknown, we climbed through prosperous 
cultivation to the Kologa Forest, home of fir-capped 
falls. The doctor's ponies, we were told, had done 
their sixty miles a day without a murmur. The 



THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA 99 

Kologa Forest was the shadiest place we had so far 
visited ; it was also the thickest in vegetation, and we 
had to pick our way warily through dense undergrowth 
and fallen trees over the winding burn to the falls. 
Ferns flourished abundantly in the clay soil, lending 
quite an English aspect to the scene. Tea and cakes 
made by the male hands of a local farmer were served 
by Kaffirs in a little clearing. Coming home, the 
South African ponies were given their heads with a 
vengeance ; no ride in the war zone could have been 
more exhilarating. 

That evening waggons and carts of all descriptions 
drawn by oxen had left home from within a radius of 
thirty miles for the courts. More came at sunrise 
next morning an unprecedented trek to watch a lawn 
tennis match. All these vehicles were drawn up 
Derby-fashion round the ant-heap court. Alas ! the 
morning heat presaged an afternoon storm. Only 
half our programme could be completed before the 
deluge swamped the surface. But enough was seen of 
the local players to kindle admiration not only for 
their zeal but for their strokes and strategy. Dixon 
was within two points of losing a set to Davis, a young 
farmer who had held the Border championship. He 
proved to be the first player we had then met in 
South Africa who dealt serenely with good length 
driving. Other farmers did well. It was agreed we 
should resume the next day, but the ground was still 
unplayable. At night we took lamps and picked our 
way, 'mid growling thunder overhead, to the local drill 
hall, when it was demonstrated that dancing was an 
accomplishment natural to the villagers. 

The unconquerable spirit of Cecil Rhodes seemed 
to hover over all our travels. We lunched with Mrs. 
Botha, the Prime Minister's wife, at Groote Schuur, 



100 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

his old Cape Town home, inspecting many interesting 
treasures, including a wonderfully varied zoological 
collection imported from all parts and alive in the Park 
outside. At Kimberley we saw vivid evidence of his 
great industrial activities. We visited the De Beers 
mines and saw the intricate process by which blue 
hauled up from the bowels of the earth passes through 
the crushing mills and the pulsator, and throws out 
from its residue those dull-looking crystals which 
ultimately become brilliant diamonds. An inspection 
of one of the native compounds, which accommodated 
altogether nearly 12,000 natives, revealed the states- 
manship necessary to control labour. But those at 
meat sitting round the stoep fire looked anything but 
the depressed tools of capital. Of the twenty-four 
hours the native only worked eight ; the rest of the 
day was his own. Passing through every department 
of this vast organisation, with its humanising elements, 
one could not help admiring the brain of Cecil Rhodes 
which had conceived it. In his own land of Rhodesia, 
of course, many relics of its founder abounded. Here 
at the top of the majestic Matoppos, commanding the 
World's View, lies his tomb, at which, ascending in 
motors from Bulawayo, we paid our humble tribute 
to his memory. 

Rhodes' s governing principle was " Anything but 
failure/' We endeavoured to honour it on the lawn 
tennis courts of South Africa. Of thirty-one matches 
played only three were lost. One of them was the 
representative tie against South Africa at Johannes- 
burg. But the margin here was so small a matter 
of only two sets, with matches even that, since we 
won by a convincing margin at Durban and Cape 
Town, our record was not materially impaired. As it 
was, our defeat in the Reef City was due in the main to 



THROUGH SOUTH AFRICA. : 101 

our failure in the doubles. R. B. was not his robust 
self when he partnered Lowe, and, with the latter tired 
after an exhausting single, this pair went down in a dust 
storm before Cockran and Kitson at the critical finish. 
Before this final double began we were actually a 
match to the good, and that after losing four matches 
out of six on the first day. Sound in wind and body, 
thoroughly acclimatised to a teasing altitude, without 
the strain of a long and exacting tour to impair their 
physical resources, our opponents undoubtedly had 
an advantage which, quite justifiably, they pushed 
home. Dixon, as I have mentioned, was within a 
stroke of defeat in singles both by Cockran and Kitson ; 
gallantly did he survive each encounter. Beamish, 
at his best on the high-bounding floor, also won both 
his singles. Lowe won one (against Gauntlett) an 
unexpected triumph ; R. B. failed in both, nor did 
he win a double. Later our left-hander more than 
atoned for these delinquencies. 

The crowds throughout South Africa were at all 
times sporting and generous. At Johannesburg the 
huge Rugby stands were filled with 5000 spectators, 
ever keen and appreciative of good play. Occasion- 
ally a facetious spirit would break out. " Had a good 
sleep, old man ? " was a question hurled at Gordon 
Lowe by a stentorian voice when, a little tardy over 
his toilet, he came into court. But none minded these 
mild pleasantries. I recall that great cheering was 
raised when G. H. Dodd lowered the colours of Beamish 
on the Wanderers* Court, proving it to be no fluke 
by beating the same player in the final at Eastbourne 
last year on a surface as pudding to the iron floor 
of Johannesburg. Whether we played before hardy 
sportsmen, well versed in international contests, in 
the larger cities, or the lonely farmers of the interior, 



TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

or the exiled enthusiasts in distant Rhodesia, the same 
spirit of Empire camaradeiie pervaded our contact 
with the crowd. " I want to see the Home team do 
well/' a Johannesburger said to me before the " Test/' 
He meant our team. 



CHAPTER VII 

AMERICA AND AMERICAN INVADERS 

IN lawn tennis annals the year 1920 will be re- 
garded as America's own. Brilliant as the achieve- 
ments of her players had been in the past, though 
the United States had produced two winners of the 
All Comers singles at Wimbledon one of them subse- 
quently to beat both Brookes and Wilding within 
three days in New York though there had been more 
young players of promise in America than in any 
country of the world, national ambition had been 
thwarted in two main directions. No American since 
Wimbledon was invented had ever won either the 
singles or the doubles championships. The Davis 
Cup, founded in America by an American, had proved 
almost a will-o'-the-wisp to the strong American teams 
which hunted it in England and Australasia. Only 
once in twenty years had a challenge round been won 
out of America, and then by the narrowest possible 
margin. It almost seemed as if American champions 
who took ship to some foreign land carried with them 
some hoodoo, some luckless symbol of defeat. 

But in 1920 every adverse precedent was broken, 
every quest was successful. Both the championships 
at Wimbledon and the Davis Cup were captured in a 
manner at once unique and conclusive. Before the 
war nobody in this country not watching the schooling- 
grounds of America had ever heard either of Tilden 
or Johnston. R. N. Williams had graduated in 



103 




104 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Europe and had been marked out for distinction before 
he came to Wimbledon in 1913 ; but Garland was 
then a boy of sixteen with his name unmade. Yet 
these four between them achieved objectives for 
which, for nearly two generations, their countrymen 
had striven in vain. Tilden was a new-comer to 
Wimbledon. He won the singles championship at 
his first attempt. Williams and Garland, after beating 
Tilden and Johnston, became doubles champions. 
They had not played together in their own country ; 
virtually they were a scratch pair. More notable even 
than their triumphs at Wimbledon, because their 
opponents were the elect of France, England, and 
Australia, and because the test was more rigidly 
imposed, the Americans won the Davis Cup without 
losing a single match in three rounds. Neither Tilden 
nor Johnston had played in the international champion- 
ship before. In turn they defeated, both in singles 
and doubles, Gobert and Laurentz of France, Parke 
and Kingscote of England, and Brookes and Patterson 
of Australia. A brilliant sequence of victories over 
which our cousins on the other side may be permitted 
their meed of jubilation ! 

While joining in this hymn of praise, I am not so 
prejudiced as to imagine that America's newly-found 
crown cannot be shaken, nor, conceivably, removed ; 
nor can the fact be overlooked that America, as a 
result of the war interregnum, had certain advantages 
over her competitors. Australasia lost Wilding and 
Arthur O'Hara Wood in the war ; we ourselves had 
many losses among first-class players. In England, 
Australia, New Zealand, Belgium and France the 
development of natural resources was arrested in a 
manner far more exacting and over a period of time 
considerably longer than in America. Certainly Europe 



\ 

AMERICA AND AMERICAN INVADERS 105 

had not settled down after her great upheaval when 
the United States shipped her invaders to these shores 
last June. For nearly five years in the belligerent 
countries there had been a suspension of organised 
lawn tennis ; fires had to be restoked, machinery had 
to be overhauled, muscles tightened up, the ball re- 
focused, even competitive zeal rekindled. 

America only suspended her official championship 
for one year ; in the lands of her rivals there was a 
gap of five years. America has always relied on 
young men to wage her lawn tennis battles abroad ; 
she has many of them and can afford to discriminate. 
England and Australasia, and in less measure France, 
have, by habit and necessity, relied on older players. 
When a man is nearer forty than thirty, the suspension 
of match play for five years is a serious, and may 
prove a fatal, handicap. Personally I regard, the 
record of Parke and Kingscote at Wimbledon last year 
with as much pride as any American can demonstrate 
over the performances of Tilden and Johnston. Both 
were in the war from the start, both remained in it 
to the end ; both were under hot fire on many occasions 
and were lucky to escape with their lives. Yet, without 
any practice worthy of the name for five years, Parke 
beat Johnston in the championships and Kingscote 
was within measurable distance of beating Tilden in 
the same event. In the Davis Cup tie between 
England and America there was one crucial moment 
in three out of the five matches when our men had 
secured a winning position, and might, with a little 
more luck and conceivably with a little more pre-war 
" push," have converted victory into defeat. In 
putting these facts on record, one does not wish to 
moderate the note of triumph which America may 
justly strike; their recital cannot dim the lustre of 



106 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Tilden and Johnston. But they help to preserve our 
perspective all the same. 

America owes her supreme position in the lawn 
tennis world to-day to several factors. We may 
examine them a little closely, for they possibly offer 
lessons to ourselves and to others. America is a 
young country, animated with the zeal and spontaneity 
of youth. Century-old traditions do not encumber 
her ; she need not and does not recoil instinctively 
from action without precedent. Some of us in England 
may cavil at this spirit of independence. Its extrava- 
gances may ruffle our sense of dignity, strain our con- 
ception of modesty ; but even the most prejudiced 
cannot deny the American his confidence, his genius 
for organisation, and his concentration. Caution, 
composure, and restraint are excellent qualities for 
countries unmenaced by competition, either in trade 
or in sport ; they may prove negative and even 
nugatory traits in a twentieth century that has broken 
down old frontiers and old dynasties, shifted habits 
as well as inhabitants, and given democracy a unique 
incentive. Just as initiative is the opposite to in- 
anition, so the strong and the free, regardless of 
tradition, must come to their own in the new world. 

Organisation on broad and ambitious lines has 
made lawn tennis a national pastime in the United 
States. Imported forty-five years ago from England, 
like many other good things, the game appeals in- 
stinctively to the individualistic and combative 
qualities in the American. Nothing indecisive attracts 
him ; he could never tolerate the drawn cricket match. 
The spectacular attributes of first-class lawn tennis, 
its call both for force and finesse, its opportunity for 
the sprinter, the contiguity of the players to the 
crowd, the fact that thousands of people at one and 



AMERICA AND AMERICAN INVADERS 107 

the same time may watch every varying phase in a 
miniature battle in which strategy counts as much as 
strokes and counter-strategy and counter-strokes win 
the day essentially these are elements dear to the 
American heart. And not in one State more than 
another. The game is pursued as vigorously in San 
Francisco as in New York ; in the heart of the Union 
as on the fringe of its far-stretched frame. To say 
that it is a school and university game is to give it 
the place and vogue of cricket and football in England. 
If we have half a dozen nurseries for young players, 
America has half a thousand. 

In a pushful, democratic country all things are 
possible, and the development of lawn tennis from 
its early introduction by the wealthier classes to its 
present incorporation into industrial life has been 
nothing less than remarkable. Municipalities have 
helped materially by constructing permanent public 
courts. From the Central Park at San Francisco have 
emerged such giants as McLoughlin and Johnston, 
followed and preceded by other first-class players. 
Conceive how youthful imagination in a city like 
'Frisco is fired when two of its natives, recently boys 
on its public courts, attain to the international fame 
of McLoughlin and Johnston! Is it surprising that 
when Tilden paid a flying and quite informal visit to 
this municipal nursery a few months ago, and played 
doubles in turn with some of the most promising boys 
in the district, the excitement among the budding 
champions should have broken all precedent ? Tilden 
did more than strengthen his own popularity by this 
simple act ; he established a visible and practical ideal 
among hundreds who possessed the power to reach it. 

As a recreation for the million^ lawn tennis has 
recently taken a strong leap forward in America. 



108 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Many industrial companies have laid down first-class 
courts in their athletic grounds and encouraged workers 
to play. In Beloit, Wisconsin, one company alone 
has provided facilities for 200 employees. In the 
cotton mills of the south the mill-owners have built 
so many courts that an inter-mill league has recently 
been founded. In Chicago the Commercial League 
has been holding matches for many years ; similar 
organisations flourish elsewhere. Rochester, equipped 
with a model Industrial Athletic Association, with a 
long waiting list of firms anxious to join, has now 
forty-four industrial courts and is building about 
twenty more. Lawn tennis in Rochester is regarded 
as a strike-breaker. 

I mention these few facts not with the intention 
of disparaging our own institutions nor in the belief 
that the introduction of American methods into the 
European system is necessarily practical or to be 
desired ; but they explain why America is able to 
provide a never-ceasing stream of young and active 
players, able by their training, environment, and 
inherent qualities to challenge the supremacy of the 
world. The resources of America are so vast and 
self-contained, facilities for transport so extensive, 
that no limitations of climate or surface need deter 
the enthusiast nor restrict his programme. He can 
play all the year round without crossing his own 
boundaries ; he may play on clay, cement, or brick- 
dust as easily as on turf ; he can even use an indoor 
court carpeted with battleship linoleum a very good 
floor it is too ; he may play in a public park after 
dark, his fellow-citizens sharing the expense of lighting 
the court under municipal control ; in fact, he may, if 
he choose, play all round the calendar and all round 
the clock. 



AMERICA AND AMERICAN INVADERS 109 

When it comes to organising a big event a 
national championship meeting or a Davis Cup tie 
the American is in his element. It is a business affair, 
anticipated, planned out, conducted, and " boosted " 
on business lines. Than the championship court at 
Forest Hills, New York, no arena in ancient Rome, 
prepared for its gladiators, could provide more excite- 
ment, nervous strain, or noise. My feelings in 1914 
when I saw Brookes play McLoughlin before a throng 
of nearly 13,000 spectators were conflicting. It was 
early August and the heat in New York so devitalising 
that I remember getting out of bed three times during 
the previous night and taking a cooling shower-bath 
doubtless a baneful expedient. But this high, humid 
temperature only served to emphasise one's admira- 
tion for officials who " bossed " the series of matches 
so efficiently, and for the players who came to them 
and engaged in them with no sign of exhaustion or 
dismay. And yet, while the English visitor could not 
fail to be impressed with the enterprise and acumen 
of the authorities and to find inspiration in their 
methods and even in their confidence, he missed that 
element of informality, the atmosphere of spontaneity, 
almost of improvisation, which makes Wimbledon 
and St. Cloud so attractive. I suppose modern 
championship lawn tennis has now become such a 
serious affair, engrossing so much time and thought 
and demanding its own special machinery, that 
certain traditions must inevitably crumble. The 
Americans are only prudent to build on broad, solid, 
and permanent lines. Nor do the members of the 
American governing body ever lose sight of the fact 
that lawn tennis is an amateur pastime, a pastime 
clean and strong, drawing its strength inherently from 
articles of faith undisturbed by expansion. Not once 



110 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

but many times have Americans taken the lead in 
checking abuses and in safeguarding the amateur 
status. They may do things on a larger scale than 
Europe and invest some of these things with a greater 
advertisement than they possibly deserve, but both 
their enterprise and their zeal are directed to advance 
the interests of lawn tennis as a whole and not of any 
individuals who may be pursuing it. 

Forest Hills has not always been the championship 
ground. Until 1915 the American national meeting 
was held at Newport, Rhode Island, a social rendezvous 
invested with sea breezes and the vivacious attributes 
of wealth in holiday mood. Admirably managed by a 
capable committee, the tournament lacked nothing 
save accommodation to seat the increasing thousands 
who desired to watch its progress, and facilities to 
transport them from the cities. When the West Side 
Club at Forest Hills, New York, prepared their stage 
for the Davis Cup contest in 1914, the authorities were 
quick to realise that here was a very tempting alter- 
native to Newport, one which would permit the largest 
urban crowds to patronise the game. So the change 
was made, and if the climatic conditions at Forest Hills 
are less favourable to strenuous and continuous combat 
than those nearer the Atlantic, and if the social 
amenities may not be so pleasant, the sterner business 
side has gained. Considerable extensions to meet 
public requirements have been carried out at the West 
Side Club since I was there seven years ago. The 
surface of the show courts has been Wimbledonised as 
far as possible, the seating facilities increased, and the 
organisation generally rendered about as efficient as 
the most punctilious could desire. 

Seating himself in a Pullman at the New York 
terminus, the visitor, having purchased his programme 



AMERICA AND AMERICAN INVADERS 111 

on the train, reaches the pavilion enclosure within half 
an hour. In his wisdom he clads himself lightly, 
shading his eyes with a broad-brimmed hat and girding 
his neck with something that does not melt into pulp. 
Before him, making three sides of a turf square, he 
sees lawn tennis " fans " seated on tiers in mass forma- 
tion a vast throng of eager, articulate spectators. 
Very few greybeards are found in the stands in vain 
a search is made for the old croquet lady who comes to 
Wimbledon ; the crowd is essentially of playing age 
and playing zest. While the majority of its units are 
drawn from New York offices as many girls as men 
a considerable percentage are pilgrims from other 
cities, supporters of their local competitors. The arena, 
when I was there, had three courts a doubles court in 
the centre and two singles courts outside. The middle 
court is not used while the other two are in commission ; 
on the biggest occasion only one match is staged 
" inside." The run-back and side-run are thus beyond 
cavil ; indeed, so generous are they that the spectator 
seated in a back row does not get anything like so 
detailed a view of the play as at Wimbledon. On the 
other hand, the players undoubtedly gain. They do 
not feel that the crowd are caging them in, perhaps 
restraining some of their ardour in hunting full- 
pitching lobs, unconsciously affecting the morale of all 
but the most experienced. I remember playing an 
exhibition double on the Davis Cup court at Forest 
Hills, pairing up with Bobbie Powell against Doust and 
Dunlop, and feeling almost as if one were engaging 
in a private match under first-class conditions. One 
visualised the moving crowds as waves of wheat on a 
wind-swept field, and the applause, if one were ever 
conscious of it, almost sounded like a distant sym- 
phony. I can well believe that this material differ- 



112 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

ence in environment influenced Johnston's play at 
Wimbledon last year, as it had affected several of 
his countrymen before. Great drivers need a 
maximum of elbow-room; the court is the same 
size, but their perspective of its dimensions is 
singular. S. H. Smith and Parke, other great 
drivers, were influenced in the same way. The 
broader setting of Forest Hills is more pleasing to 
Johnston's eye than the centre court at Wimbledon. 

The American championships differ from our own 
in several other respects. The doubles championship 
is decided at another tournament and on another date. 
There are no ladies' events at Forest Hills. Regarding 
the singles championship as the national crown, the 
authorities set their faces sternly against any encroach- 
ment on its prestige or its progress. Thus, so far as 
possible, they ensure equitable conditions for all com- 
petitors. The need for varying the programme to 
please the gallery does not concern them. The crowd 
share their view and will gather just as thickly to watch 
young giants battling for supremacy in singles. Nor 
does America yet possess its Lenglen, and if it did the 
facilities of Philadelphia or any other city where the 
woman's championship is held could cater for her 
admirers. 

Our conservative instincts may repel any desire to 
divorce the two championships in England, but if our 
object is to provide the highest standard of skill in the 
most important event of the year, the psychological 
factor must be considered. It is not a little singular 
that both Brookes and Patterson and Tilden and 
Johnston should have lost matches in the doubles 
championship at Wimbledon matches they were 
expected to win and which would doubtless have 
given them the titles after they had watched ladies' 



AMERICA AND AMERICAN INVADERS 118 

contests on the same court. Their opponents, less 
sure of their chances, kept away from the stands. I 
hope I shall not be considered ungallant if I say that 
some of the ladies* matches at Wimbledon, interspersed 
between men's matches, strike a note of incongruity. 
A few of the men's ties may do the same thing, though 
not in the same measure. There is much to be said 
for the American method. Possibly some com- 
promise may be practicable at the new Wimbledon 
a continuous and undiverted run of male events, and 
then, or vice versa, a corresponding sequence of ladies' 
events. 

To their umpiring and lining the Americans bring 
those qualities of directness and circumspection which 
are inherent. Their umpiring is definitely organised, 
its system rehearsed ; ours is like the British Con- 
stitution, a matter of tradition and instinct and of 
improvisation. The best English umpires such men 
as Commander Hillyard, Dr. F. H. Pearce, Mr. E. W. 
Timmis, and other " chairmen " at Wimbledon are 
superior to any in the world, and the fact that English 
umpires are preferred on the Continent to any others 
is a pleasing and, I think, deserved tribute. Never- 
theless, mainly through lack of effective organisation, 
tournament umpiring in this country, while possibly 
more tactful than tournament umpiring in the States, 
is slacker and less well-informed. Our cousins have 
lately founded a National Umpires' Association com- 
posed mainly of players and ex-players. Its resources 
are drawn upon at most open meetings and its members 
carry out the umpiring at the championships. The 
whole business is arranged " according to plan." The 
referee, beset with other worries, is not required to 
mobilise his corps of linesmen ten minutes before the 
match starts ; these have all been nominated and 
8 



114 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

their places allotted the day before. Each official 
and in big matches the number is as many as fourteen 
receives a plan of the court indicating his exact 
position on it. He is instructed to attend at a definite 
time, and it is the duty of the " chairman " to have 
his table arranged completely for the feast before the 
players come in. Invariably players, past and present, 
are chosen to adjudicate on these important occasions, 
and they must possess an intimate knowledge of the 
rules ; enthusiasm alone is not enough. Independent 
of the linesmen is the foot-fault judge a more respon- 
sible authority even than the umpire, since the latter 
(apart from calling lets) only registers the decisions 
of his subordinates and announces the score to the 
crowd. The foot-fault judge, although he may be 
relieved in a long match, officiates at both base-lines 
alternately. He confines himself entirely to adjudicat- 
ing the service. His attention is diverted by no other 
duty. When I was in New York, W. A. Larned, seven 
times singles champion of America, was the foot-fault 
judge in the Davis Cup doubles. As every one of 
the four players (Brookes, Wilding, McLoughlin, and 
Bundy) followed in his service with maximum speed, 
the office was most onerous. Larned discharged it 
with complete satisfaction to all concerned. When 
he foot-faulted, as he found it necessary to do on rare 
occasions (happily, none of them vital), he signalled 
to the umpire with his hand and the man in the chair 
called the foot-fault. The latter is, of course, on the 
look out for this signal ; if he were not, the false start 
would inflict an undue strain. I was struck with the 
smooth and efficient working of this plan. Its efficiency 
depends, of course, on the capacity of the man on the 
line ; above all, he must have the confidence of all the 
players. 



AMERICA AND AMERICAN INVADERS 115 

I come now to the style and methods of American 
players. In England, as across the Atlantic, the game 
may be divided into epochs, each governed by the 
strokes and tactics, and not imperceptibly by the 
temperaments, of its contemporary champions. If 
evolution has been quicker in America than in England, 
because of the greater material available, and because 
of climatic and training advantages, it is only within 
the last year or two that any marked superiority in 
standard has been manifested. Even the supremacy 
of the American Davis Cup team in 1920 and the 
individual successes of the Americans at Wimbledon 
are not unconnected with the shorter break in develop- 
ment which the war imposed on our cousins. I have 
mentioned this factor previously, and it cannot be 
overlooked. Nevertheless the strokes and methods 
of Tilden and Johnston, different though they may 
be, embody a crystallisation of ideas, both physical 
and mental, which advances beyond the standard 
previously set up in either country. You cannot 
compare one artist with another unless you visualise 
at the same time their relative opportunities for 
progress and the degree of opposition which they were 
asked to overcome respectively. You cannot compare 
the Dohertys with Tilden and Johnston unless you 
can first gauge the relative ideals for which both were 
aiming. H. L. Doherty came nearer to reaching his 
ideal than Tilden, but Tilden's objective is higher 
than Doherty's. Not to admit that is to declare that 
the standard of the game has either remained stationary 
or gone back. Personally I believe it has gone forward, 
and the Americans, through their young and zealous 
athletes, have done the lion's share of the pushing. 
When I recall that Larned, Beals Wright, and Hoi- 
combe Ward were the contemporaries of the Dohertys 



I 



116 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

in their prime and that all could be relied upon to 
stretch the British champions to their limit both in 
singles and doubles, and when I remember that these 
level matches were waged by Americans admittedly 
possessing limitations men who were specialists 
rather than all-court players I find strong prima 
facie evidence to support my own case. It may be 
claimed for the Dohertys that no American has repro- 
duced, even with less grace, the best strokes of these 
brothers. The back-hand drive of R. F. down the 
line and H. L/s faultlessly placed smash from any 
part of the court were, and still remain, incomparable. 
But the strain and character of modern match-play 
is appreciably greater to-day than it was fifteen years 
ago ; it undoubtedly demands a greater speed of 
foot, a wider category of stroke, and a more aggressive 
attack. Physically in their resources of stamina 
Tilden and Johnston are superior to the giants of the 
past ; they are not only younger, but are better trained 
men ; their experience is as great and the nervous 
strain imposed on them appreciably greater. 

Until last year no American invader had satisfied 
his own or his country's ambition at Wimbledon. 
Two before Tilden had reached the last stage ; both 
had failed, and against the same player, because their 
ground strokes were not equal to the strain of a long 
and exacting match. Their successor in 1920 was not 
as finished in some departments as these two certainly 
he was not so deadly overhead as McLoughlin but 
he was armed at points where they were not ; the 
whole was greater than the part. I wish Tilden could 
have been put to the same test as Beals Wright 
and McLoughlin could have opposed Wilding in the 
challenge round. The Wilding of 1910 he would have 
beaten ; I am not at all sure about the Wilding of 



AMERICA AND AMERICAN INVADERS 117 

1913. It is true McLoughlin beat Wilding, as he beat 
Brookes, in 1914 ; and I agree with Lamed that 
Tilden's greater variety of stroke and infinite resources 
as revealed in 1920 would have proved too much for 
McLoughlin, even in his gala year. But the Wilding 
of 1914 in America was not the best Wilding, and I 
am inclined to think that, given maximum zeal and 
training, the latter would have applied the same 
methods of attack to the present champion as 
Johnston, and applied them a little more effectively. 
Yet Tilden is a better player at twenty-seven than 
Wilding was at the same age. When Tilden reaches 
Wilding's zenith year he will probably be better than 
Wilding ever was. Johnston, too, will move forward. 
Nor will the advance be restricted to any two or three 
players. America is rich in potential champions and 
richer still in the instinct for development revealed by 
those who lead lawn tennis on the other side. 



CHAPTER VIII 

DAVIS CUP MATCHES 

HOW much lawn tennis owes to Mr. D wight F. 
Davis, of St. Louis, U.S.A., it is impossible to 
estimate. Called by any other name, his silver 
bowl might be, like the marconigram, as useful and as 
epoch-making. But unless D wight Davis had given 
his idea practical conception through the governing 
bodies of America and Britain, the game would certainly 
have lost a powerful incentive. 

Originated twenty years ago as an annual contest 
between England and America, the Davis Cup has 
promoted a championship far more international than 
its designation implies. Last century the game was 
played in watertight compartments. It is now played, 
as it were, on a court so extended that its base-lines are 
fixed in different hemispheres. Hands across the sea 
is synonymous with hands across the net. America 
and England, the joint founders of the Davis Cup, 
have added to their company, first other nations of 
Europe, like France and Belgium, then the British 
Oversea Dominions, next other Continental countries, 
Holland and Spain, and now Oriental countries like 
India and Japan. 

A common interest has extended far beyond the 
players actually concerned, year by year, in the Davis 
Cup contest ; it has created a sympathetic bond 
between all the players, high and low, in the various 
countries. Who will doubt that the camaraderie 



118 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 119 

engendered by sport has been strengthened through 
this friendly clash of rackets, first at one end of the 
earth and then at the other between Americans and 
Australians in New Zealand, British and Americans 
at Wimbledon, the French and Belgians at Brussels, 
the Dutch and South Africans at Arnheim ? Golf 
may mix her giants on both sides of the Atlantic and 
in France, cricket may interchange her teams between 
England and Australia, polo and yachting may kindle 
international rivalry between America and ourselves. 
Lawn tennis through the Davis Cup spreads her net 
over a much wider field. The most cosmopolitan of 
all ball games has its boundaries fixed only by civilisa- 
tion. Its devotees require no passport ; they find 
every court open to them. The Davis Cup has 
advertised this world movement like nothing else 
could. Its matches have been of supreme educational 
value. The standard of the game has been advanced 
not only by the matches themselves, regarded as ex- 
hibitions of modern skill and strategy, but by the 
stimulant left behind on the rank and file. If this be 
true of the older lawn tennis countries like England, 
America, and France, what must the effect be in less 
accessible countries like Australia, New Zealand, and 
South Africa ? What will the effect be in Japan a few 
years hence ? 

The first three Davis Cup matches were decided in 
America. They were matches between England and 
America, contests conforming to the original idea of 
the founder. If the reader desires an intimate diary of 
these earlier engagements, he may care to consult a 
little book l I wrote a few years ago. Therein he will 
find set out the story of the courageous, if unsuccessful, 
invasion by Gore, Roper Barrett, and E. D. Black, the 

1 The Story of the Davis Cup (Methuen). 



120 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

deep impression made on this team by the American 
service, then a new-fangled weapon, and by courts and 
balls very different from our own. He will read of the 
failure of the Doherty-Pim mission in 1902, its causes 
and its object-lessons, and of the triumphant tour of 
the Doherty brothers a year later a second visit which 
exported to this country not only the Davis Cup but 
the singles and doubles championships of the United 
States. 

For three years England defended the cup without 
the loss of a match. I witnessed all these matches. 
Of those in 1905 and 1906 the abiding impression re- 
mains that America was distinctly unlucky not to win 
one of the ten. Indeed, the 1905 challenge round will 
probably be remembered, despite its five-love victory 
for the Home team, as one of the closest, as it was 
certainly one of the best, in the history of the Cup. 
For America to lose two five-set singles against H. L. 
Doherty and to come within a few strokes of vanquish- 
ing the Doherty brothers on their own court, demon- 
strates the formidable character of the attack. It 
was not an attack so young in limb nor so versatile in 
stroke as that launched by the Americans of 1920, but 
the opposing skill was of a higher calibre and the close 
character of the contest was unquestionably a tribute 
to Ward, Wright, and Larned. 

Elsewhere I refer to Ward's dramatic match against 
the younger Doherty. Larned had much superior 
equipment off the ground ; he fought the British 
champion on more orthodox lines ; but his effort, if 
less thrilling in its opening stages than Ward's, was 
really more threatening, for he led H. L. by two sets 
to one and was still in the running for the match in 
the fourth set. Our second string, Smith, defeated 
Larned with the loss of only one set, though all four 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 121 

were close, and he beat Clothier (who deputised for 
Ward when the issue was decided) quite easily 
results which, even more than the Doherty singles, 
revealed the relative superiority of the English driving 
at that time. To the mind of the American volleyer, 
Smith was wielding a heavy sword, Doherty only a 
rapier ; and while the finesse of the second might in a 
long duel defeat the force of the first, the American 
preference for short engagements (or at any rate for 
matches with a mid-course respite) made Doherty a 
less difficult problem than Smith. 

I regard the doubles match between the Dohertys 
and Ward and Wright as one of the finest I have ever 
had the good fortune to witness. It may have lacked 
on either side the fierce, destructive service which 
McLoughlin or Tilden can supply, but the ground 
strokes of the brothers, especially R. F/s backhand 
service returns down the line, H. L.'s quiet but fault- 
less smashing of deep lobs, the cross volleying of 
Ward and Wright, checked or deep as the occasion 
offered, and, above all, the wonderful manner in which 
the two visitors hunted and recovered smashes " in 
the country " these, and the fluctuating fortunes of 
each side, gave a rare quality and excitement to the 
battle. The Americans richly deserved their ovation 
at the finish. They had suffered the worst of the luck, 
and the crowd did not forget the fact. Once at a 
critical stage in the fifth set, when every stroke was 
of vital consequence, Wright served a winner to 
R. F. from the left-hand court. The ace would have 
meant the game an index game. R. F. made no 
attempt to return the service ; he was under the 
impression so he informed me afterwards that the 
score was deuce and that H. L. was receiving. The 
hallucination not uncommon in long and tense 



122 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

contests might have cost the brothers the match. 
The Americans dissolved the look of perplexity on 
the umpire's face by demanding a let. They subse- 
quently lost the point and the game. It was a fine 
act of sportsmanship. Again, at a later and even 
more momentous stage I think when the brothers 
were within a stroke of losing the vantage game in 
the fifth set, with Ward's service to follow Ward, in 
negotiating a decisive kill at short range, grazed the 
net in his downward swing. The aberration cost his 
side the game, for the Dohertys went out at 8-6. 1 

A week before this challenge round at Wimbledon 
there had been some memorable matches in the pre- 
liminary round at Queen's. Both Brookes and Wilding 
made their Davis Cup debut against Austria, Brookes 
with his terrifying service proving much too for- 
midable for Kinzl and von Wesseley, and Wilding, 
then at Cambridge, winning both his singles against 
the same players with the loss of one set in four. A 
partnership that was to become famous subsequently 
was then founded. On July 14, 1905, Brookes and 
Wilding, strangers alike to each other's method and 
personality, played their first double, and it is yet a 
further proof of what familiarity in double harness 
means that the young Austrians should have pressed 
them hard in two sets out of three. 

The match which followed against America was 
chiefly remarkable for the defeat of Brookes in all his 
three ties. Wright beat him after one of the longest 
volleying duels ever fought a match similar in length, 
though not in standard, to their great battle at Mel- 
bourne three years later. There were two sets, the 
first and third, of twenty-two games each, and both 

1 The full score in favour of the Dohertys was 8-10, 6-2, 6-2, 4-6, 
8-6. 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 123 

were won by Wright. The other two were close. 
The service played a great part in the match and 
nearly dominated it ; but Brookes was then serving his 
googly exclusively, and Wright, coming from the land 
of break services, was a little less embarrassed by 
this attack than was Brookes by Wright's persistent 
chopping to the Australian's backhand during the 
rallies. Both men, of course, were left-handers, and 
even the seasoned student, anticipating the moves 
ahead, had to remind himself constantly of the in- 
verse strategy. Larned revealed the strength of his 
ground strokes by beating Brookes in three sets, the 
first a prodigious affair of twenty-six games, the second 
and third, with Brookes tiring, easy bouts. In the 
doubles, Wright and Ward gave an earnest of their 
power a week later nearly equal to the task of 
overcoming the Dohertys by beating Brookes and 
Dunlop by three sets to one. 

The 1906 matches will always be associated with 
the retirement of the Dohertys from international 
lawn tennis. The brothers left the Davis Cup arena 
at Wimbledon with an unbeaten record, a feat only 
equalled among Englishmen by S. H. Smith. While 
H. L. retained his skill to the end Ward never looked 
like taking him Into five sets again there was less 
" devil " about his game. In his second singles, 
R. D. Little, never one of the greatest Americans 
though always a punitive volleyer, took two sets from 
him a sign of dallying rather than decay. Little 
used a forehand drive-volley on the run with great 
effect, but his ground work was uncertain, and once he 
fell back the end was certain. On the other hand, 
R. F. was obviously not equal to the strain of a 
big " five-setter." He was pressed into the doubles 
reluctantly, and the brothers managed to stave off 



124 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

successfully a determined assault by Ward and Little, 
who won twenty-three games to their opponents' 
twenty-nine ; but in the rapid volleying exchanges 
and in overhead play R. F.'s slower mobility was a 
relative weakness, and few of his intimates were alto- 
gether surprised when, a fortnight later, Smith and 
Riseley beat the Dohertys for the second time in the 
challenge round of the doubles championship. Strewn 
about earlier chapters will be found several references 
to the brothers' influence on the game. In the Davis 
Cup annals their name will ever be associated with 
the first capture of the trophy from America and 
its staunch defence for three years in England. But 
even more permanent than their play was the example 
of their sportsmanship. The Dohertys founded a 
tradition in international courtesy ; the moral side 
of the Davis Cup gained immeasurably by their early 
participation in the contest. 

In 1907 a new page in Davis Cup history was 
turned. The competition ceased to be an annual 
battle between England and America with one or two 
European countries affording gun practice to the pre- 
destined challenger ; it became an affair of continents. 
Only two matches were played in 1907, both at 
Wimbledon, but these proved to be two of the most 
strenuous, two of the closest, on record. Australasia 
survived them both and won the Cup for the first time. 
Aggregate strokes do not affect the decision of matches, 
but it is worth noting that in the first tie America 
won 672 points to Australasia's 703 and in the second 
England's winning strokes were only 29 less than 
America's. Considering that the Dohertys and Smith 
had both dropped out of the home team, England 
relying exclusively on two players who had failed in 
the first match of 1900, the second result was a great 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 125 

tribute to the fighting ardour of Gore and Roper 
Barrett. 

The Americans would probably have beaten 
Australasia if Karl Behr, their second string, had 
been as good a general as Beals Wright. Behr was a 
great artist and could never give the gallery a dull 
moment ; his volleying sorties were dramatic in their 
intensity and often overwhelming in their effect ; he 
was a brilliant specialist. In addition to his strokes, 
which, when under control, brooked no resistance, 
his idiosyncrasies on court were rather disturbing to 
an opponent. After sprinting to the net behind his 
service rather like an aeroplane following a torpedo, 
and either killing the return outright or closing the 
rally with a " misfire," Behr would run his fingers 
through his long black hair, pause for meditation, turn 
solemnly round, and then walk with slow, tragic step 
back to the base-line. The time saved by the hit-or- 
miss character of his volleying was more than lost by 
these long intervals between the rests. Wilding was 
not a very experienced match player in 1907, but he 
gave proof of his inflexible will in his single against 
Behr. The match went into five sets ; not once but 
several times would the American have made his 
position secure by a little more circumspection. He 
missed a " sitter " at short range in the fifth set 
which, had the chance been accepted, would have 
made him 4-2. It was his last brilliant error, for he 
did not win another game. That foozled smash poss- 
ibly settled the destiny of the Cup. As Wright beat 
Wilding on the first day, and the Americans beat 
Brookes and Wilding after a great double on the second 
cunningly, Wright and Behr had not unmasked all 
their guns when meeting the same pair in the champion- 
ships another victory would have brought them into 



126 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

the challenge round against a team they would doubt- 
less have overcome. 

No defence was more unexpectedly stubborn than 
that provided by Gore and Roper Barrett in 1907. 
Brookes had just won the championship by the genius 
of his service and volleying ; Wilding, with whom he 
secured the doubles championship, had taken him into 
five sets, a feat no English competitor achieved. Yet 
these two Australasians, fortified by success over the 
strong American team, only beat England by the odd 
match in five. Gore's exhibition of driving against 
Brookes, though unproductive of a set, would have 
demoralised all but the greatest opponent. He 
frequently scored aces outright off Brooke's best 
services. Without a similar response to the Aus- 
tralian's opening stroke, Barrett was quickly beaten, 
but Wilding, defeated by Gore, might well have fallen 
a victim to Barrett's guile had he not, with great 
tenacity, held on to and won the fourth set. I have 
mentioned the doubles in a previous chapter a match 
which, if lacking the volleying crispness of 1921, will 
ever be memorable in the annals of Wimbledon. 

Australasia carried the Davis Cup across the 
southern seas and held it for four years. There was 
no competition in 1910, but in 1908, 1909, and 1911 the 
attack on the holders assumed a uniform course. In 
each of these three years we sent an English team to 
America ; on each occasion the home side won. But 
when the Americans carried their challenge across the 
Pacific they came back empty-handed. 

The excursions of American players in Australia 
and New Zealand are particularly noteworthy for 
several reasons. The Davis Cup has done much to 
foster camaraderie between distant countries. That 
was one of the objectives of those controlling its 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 127 

destinies, and it has been strikingly achieved. Before 
Beals Wright and Alexander went to Melbourne in 
1908 the game of lawn tennis had a local rather than a 
national vogue. Norman Brookes had won the cham- 
pionship a year earlier, it is true, but the honour had 
been gained several thousand miles away, and there 
was no player in Australia then who could play a level 
match with Brookes in public. Indeed, Brookes about 
fifteen years ago was almost a product of the private 
lawn ; virtually his only opponent was his brother, 
to whom he could give thirty and a beating. The 
Australian public had been rather sceptical about the 
athletic qualities of lawn tennis. In 1908 their eyes 
were opened. When they saw Norman Brookes and 
Beals Wright battling for five sets in a hot north wind, 
with the temperature at 102 Fahr. in the shade, the 
future of international lawn tennis in Australia was 
assured. This single indeed the whole five matches 
in the contest- will always be memorable. The test 
of stamina and fortitude was one of the most severe 
ever imposed in amateur sport. Wright had won the 
first two sets with the loss of only three games ; he 
lost the third set at 7-5 after being on the threshold of 
victory, and the fourth at 6-2. The fifth set yielded 
twenty-two games before the American, with a shade 
more reserve than his rival, nosed his way out. 

To appreciate the strain of this struggle you must 
remember that the previous day, just as hot and devital- 
ising, Brookes and Wilding had fought and won a five- 
set double against Wright and Alexander. Anthony 
Wilding told me that he regarded this double not only 
as the most exciting, but as providing the highest class 
tennis of his career. Australia won the first two sets, 
America the third and fourth. The visitors took the 
first three games in the fifth set an advantage which 






128 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

in a fast match, on a fast court and in a bright light, 
seemed almost decisive. But at this stage Brookes, 
who had declined temporarily, rushed back to form. 
Four-all was called, and at 5-4 Wilding had the service. 
His side went sternly to 40-15. A universal " Oh ! " 
echoed round the arena when Wilding served a double 
fault. Wright scored with a smash, Brookes netted. 
'Vantage to America. A magnificent rally followed, 
and in it Wright fell. Alexander, close in, played his 
two opponents single-handed. Three times he volleyed 
fine volleys, then netted one of Wilding's famous 
dipping drives. In what proved to be the last rally 
of all, Alexander fell in a tremendous effort to reach 
the ball near the side-boards. Wright was behind 
him and tossed just over the base-line. Seven 
thousand throats cheered that match, as well they 
might in 102 Fahr. I like to remember, as evidence 
of its admirable sporting tone, that never a line 
decision was questioned by look or gesture, and that 
the four competitors pooled their drinks at the umpire's 
stand. This was Wright's Davis Cup match. He beat 
both Brookes and Wilding in the singles. Alexander 
took Brookes into a fifth set on the opening day ; 
on the last day he was done, and Wilding beat him 
fairly comfortably, thus deciding the Cup's fate. 

Next year America made a bold experiment. Two 
young Californians, little more than boys, were dis- 
patched to Sydney to face the redoubtable Brookes 
and Wilding. The youngsters were beaten, but even 
the shrewd Australian captain underestimated their 
abilities. McLoughlin won a set from Wilding. 
Melville Long should have won a set from Brookes. 
In the doubles the Americans hunted the home pair all 
the way home, and won twenty games to their twenty- 
seven. One cannot doubt that the introduction of 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 129 

fresh, young blood into the Davis Cup arena was 
sagacious policy. Five years later the red-haired 
youth from San Francisco beat both Brookes and 
Wilding (the latter in his last public single) on his own 
soil. 

Never was there greater lawn tennis surprise than 
America's defeat in her third Australasian expedition 
in 1911. Her supporters were in high fettle, as well 
they might be. W. A. Larned (seven-time champion 
of U.S.A.), Beals Wright (the hero of the 1908 match), 
and McLoughlin (much improved) were the challenging 
side. The defenders were without Wilding, detained 
in England on business ; they relied on R. W. Heath 
and A. W. Dunlop to support Brookes. The great 
invading team failed to win a match. There were 
some extenuating circumstances. The weather at 
Christchurch was in bad form ; Larned had contracted 
rheumatism, Wright was indisposed ; the court was 
soft. Yet the result was astonishing. McLoughlin 
was the only man among the visitors who shone. He 
played brilliantly in the doubles, paired with Wright, 
and took Brookes into five sets on the last day. The 
defeat of Larned by Heath on the first day was a result 
unexpected by winner and loser alike. Larned was 
never seen at his best out of America ; but he went 
there, as Pirn went to America in 1902, after his zenith. 
By the irony of fate, England, beaten thrice 
successively on American courts, was victorious in 
Australia on her first invasion. America was recuper- 
ating ; England slipped in and achieved a seemingly 
hopeless task. When J. C. Parke, Dixon, Beamish, and 
F. G. Lowe set out for Melbourne in the autumn of 
1912, the expedition was regarded as a forlorn hope. 
And on paper it was. But Parke, trained into the 
finest driving form by systematic practice at Melbourne, 



130 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

defeated Brookes in an historic encounter, and the 
foundation of a great triumph was laid. Writing to 
me from Australia, A. E. Beamish thus described 
Parke's methods : 

" Brookes got 4-1 in the first set before Parke 
could gauge the speed of his service or get used to its 
bound, Brookes using his straight, fast service without 
the American twist and hang. When Parke got his 
bearings he hit his returns very fast and firmly all over 
the court. On the backhand he played a fairly high 
slow shot at Brookes's body, waited for the return, 
which was not punched, and then drove joyously and 
with the most extraordinary accuracy all over the 
court, passing Brookes cleanly with the finest cross- 
court drives. Parke revelled in slow stuff, not 
punched out deep and not hit hard, and this Brookes 
gave him, and afterwards stood watching the drives 
fly past him, while at other times his volleying move- 
ments came too late and put the ball out or in the net. 
Brookes also gave his opponent angles, and that was 
what Parke wanted." 

The Irishman won by 3 sets to i, actually leading 
5-1 in the third set and requiring only two points for 
a straight-set victory. Parke did not slack off, but 
Brookes improved and took the set at 7-5 a fine, 
if vain, recovery. In winning six successive games, 
Brookes changed his service, delivering a hanging 
American service which gave him more time to come 
in. Possibly if the Australian had exploited the centre 
theory more in the first half of the match, thereby 
cramping Parke's cross drives, as Tilden did at 
Wimbledon last year, the result might have been 
different. It may be noted that Brookes beat Parke 
both at Sydney and at Melbourne subsequently, 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 181 

though in neither match was Parke given the further 
test of a five-set encounter. 

That experience did not come again until 1914 at 
Boston. The play was very different on this occasion, 
though the number of games contested was precisely 
the same. The tennis was uneven ; neither player 
was at his best. Even from my seat in the stand I 
could see that both were conscious of strain. The 
fact was that Europe's impending disaster lent an air 
of unreality to the engagement ; our thoughts were 
diverted ; we could not concentrate them on this 
little strip of turf in Boston. Nevertheless the match 
was as close and exciting as an American crowd could 
possibly desire. When Parke went from 1-3 to 5-3 
in the fifth set the service of Brookes having lost its 
" bite " I could see only one end to a fluctuating 
tussle. In both the ninth and tenth games Parke was 
within a stroke of victory, and it cannot be said that 
either chance was easy. But the Irishman was dis- 
tinctly unlucky in one respect. Leading 30-15 in 
the tenth game, he came up to put away a purely 
defensive return by Brookes. He made a certain 
winner, and every one on the ground, including the 
umpire, thought the score was 40-15. But Parke' s 
racket had grazed the net, so narrowly that only the 
player was conscious of the incident. Parke advised 
the umpire and the game was squared. Since he won 
the next point, this aberration undoubtedly robbed 
Parke of victory. Brookes went out at 7-5, a dis- 
tinctly lucky winner. 

But I must go back for a moment to 1913, the year 
in which America sent McLoughlin to England and 
won the challenge round by the narrowest possible 
margin at Wimbledon. Before they came to the 
British holders, the Americans beat Australasia at 



132 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

New York, Germany at Nottingham, and Canada at 
Wimbledon. All these victories were gained by a 
conclusive margin. I retain a vivid impression of 
the Nottingham matches, the first Davis Cup tie held 
in the Midlands. As Dr. Flavelle and I were examining 
the court on the morning before play began, the 
former, who was a very conscientious referee, decided 
to measure the lines. The side-lines were found to be 
appreciably short, a matter of inches. Of course there 
was a hullaballoo ; the existing lines had to be obliter- 
ated by an elaborate process, and new lines engraved. 
Had the error been detected during or after the match 
the results recorded would have been null and void. 
I never go to a Davis Cup match now without 
asking the referee whether he has measured the 
court. 

The Germans failed to win a match against the 
Americans, but they played good tennis for all that. 
For two sets Froitzheim gave a wonderful display 
against McLoughlin. His health had been poor and 
he had even doubted the wisdom of participating in 
the match, but there was no trace of any physical 
weakness in the first half. He returned McLoughlin's 
service, standing a yard inside the base-line, with 
confidence ; sometimes he passed him cleanly ; more 
often he returned the ball with sufficient guile in 
it to draw a defensive volley from the American ; 
then he made a winning drive of delightful precision. 
A backhand cross drive, dipping to McLoughlin's feet, 
was the German's chief scoring stroke, but he also 
made some fine forehand drives down the line, and 
some of his lobs were too good for McLoughlin to kill. 
But after he led 2-0 in the third set, Froitzheim never 
looked like a winner again. It was not so much that 
McLoughlin improved as that Froitzheim, becoming 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 133 

exhausted, lost his power to retrieve McLoughlin' s 
best ground strokes and so pass an incoming volleyer. 
In the fifth set McLoughlin could even afford to 
remain back ; Froitzheim's drives had lost their 
sting and length. The light was atrociously bad and 
the balls discoloured by rain adverse conditions 
which undoubtedly affected the play. While Williams 
wore steel points a quarter of an inch long to retain 
his foothold, Kreuzer employed string nets over his 
shoes. The Germans, through Rahe and Kleinschroth, 
were three times within a stroke of winning the doubles ; 
it was a tribute to the temperamental soundness of 
McLoughlin and Hackett that they should have saved 
the match. On the third day, with the issue decided, 
Williams played brilliantly against Froitzheim, every 
department of his game showing a remarkable firm- 
ness. To see Williams at his best is a sheer delight ; 
there is no finer stroke player in the world. 

Before America opposed England in the challenge 
round they met and defeated Canada a result always 
anticipated, but moderated in violence by the shrewd 
play of the late R. B. Powell. McLoughlin was ex- 
pected to " eat up " the Canadian captain ; the feast 
did not take place. A pluckier display than that 
rendered by Powell against a player admittedly his 
superior has seldom been seen. The court was slow 
after rain and the Canadian used his cut drives and 
stop volleys dexterously. The trick of leaving the 
" backhand " court exposed so that a left-hander with 
sprinting powers might use his forehand caught out 
even McLoughlin. Powell also lobbed very cleverly. 
He led 5-4 in the first set and delayed its issue for 
eighteen games. In the third set, too, he fought most 
gallantly. In the doubles Powell and Schwengers 
kept the Canadian flag flying longer than anybody 



134 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

expected ; if Schwengers had been as confident as his 
partner they would have secured a set. 

The challenge round of 1913 had its genuine thrills 
and for England one moment of supreme mortifica- 
tion. Parke opened the match by a brilliant victory 
over McLoughlin, a victory gained by superb hardi- 
hood in the fifth set. McLoughlin made many mistakes 
off the ground, only discounting them by the scoring 
power of his service. It was Parke' s subsequent 
mastery over his service which eventually won him 
the match. By coming closer in probably inspired 
by Wilding's success in the singles challenge round 
three weeks earlier he was able to take the ball on 
the rise, using a hooked, backhand shot which caught 
McLoughlin at his feet and yielded a defensive return. 
Parke led 5-3 in the fifth set and was caught, but 
he kept remarkably cool at this crisis, and, winning 
the next two games, passed out through cheering 
crowds to the pavilion. The succeeding single between 
Williams and Dixon was equally close and exciting ; 
the easier stroke-play and the greater variety of shot 
made it a finer spectacle. The young American 
appeared to have command of the match when he led 
2-0 in the fourth set with a set in hand ; but at this 
stage came many lapses and a too eager attack. 
Dixon had been outplayed for a period ; the boot 
was now on the other foot and the Englishman won 
six games and the set. But for untimely double 
faults in the fifth set a Dixonian habit the English- 
man might have won the match. 

The doubles is italicised in my memory. It 
opened with a strategic miscalculation on the part of 
McLoughlin and Hackett. They paid Barrett the 
compliment of neglect only to find that the favoured 
Dixon was in fine form, the stronger on the day of the 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 135 

two. Thus ground shots directed persistently into 
Dixon's court were picked up by low volleys, beauti- 
fully accurate in their placing. Teased into excess, 
the Americans made mistakes or returned balls high 
enough for Dixon to kill outright with his forehand 
sweep volley. With Barrett intervening cleverly 
wherever he got the chance, the home pair snatched 
the first set at 7-5. The next two sets were dramatic- 
ally brief. Having discovered the wisdom of lobbing 
Barrett, Hackett withdrew from the picture and 
allowed McLoughlin to kill anything smashable thrown 
up from the base-line. If Hackett lobbed short, as he 
often did, Barrett's pushed volley gave McLoughlin a 
further chance of bringing off a fine centre drive. 
Time and again the Calif ornian scored certain winners. 
But the end was a long way off. McLoughlin changed 
his service end in the third set, facing the sun an 
injudicious policy which gave England a 3-0 lead. 
Barrett's relatively soft returns were embarrassing 
Hackett ; from the rallies confined to these two 
Barrett usually emerged triumphant. 

But in the fourth set Hackett met this sinister 
attack by a bold advance. He got in a yard nearer 
to the net and volleyed down Barrett's push shots to 
Dixon's feet. The crisis came when the Englishmen, 
a set in hand, led 5-3 in the fourth set. The Americans 
showed their fine resolution. Barrett's service, its 
deceptive softness of no avail, was won to love. 
McLoughlin's service followed and should have pre- 
vailed from thirty. But when smashing an easy lob 
at 40-30, the American broke a string of his racket. 
With a new weapon, asking the umpire's permission, 
he served a breaking-in ball an unprecedented 
privilege at such a stage. Missing another smash, 
McLoughlin was faced with 'vantage against his side 



136 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

only a point separated the holders from victory. 
There was a breathless silence. McLoughlin served to 
Dixon and volleyed his return sharp and true through 
the English pair. Then, with immediate danger 
over, he served two balls which won the tenth game. 
Dixon double-faulted in the eleventh game and lost 
it. The match was squared, and the fifth set, 
another keen struggle, taken by the Americans at 6-4. 
McLoughlin was undoubtedly the hero of the match. 
Neither Tilden nor Johnston has ever given such a 
wonderful exhibition as the Californian provided on 
that day. Hackett, while canny, was often lament- 
ably soft. McLoughlin was the ace-winner ; his 
smashes and forehand drives were magnificent. The 
issue was quickly settled on the third day when 
McLoughlin beat Dixon in three sets, only the first in 
dispute. Parke defeated Williams by three sets to 
two. If the fate of the Davis Cup had depended on 
this match it is possible the margin would have been 
wider. 

Another thrilling chapter was added to the story 
of the international championship in 1914. It might 
almost be called " Round the World in Twenty 
Months/' The Davis Cup had left Melbourne in the 
custody of the English invaders in November 1912. 
Eight months later it was captured by America in 
this country and crossed the Atlantic the first time 
for twelve years. In less than a year it was back 
again at Melbourne. I say " back again/' but as a 
matter of actual fact, though the Australasians de- 
feated the holders in New York in August 1914, the 
trophy, owing to the war and the risk of its loss 
on transit, was kept in a safe deposit on the 
American side while international lawn tennis was 
suspended. 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 187 

All the matches save two in 1914 were decided 
in America. England (having beaten Belgium and 
France), Australasia, Germany, and Canada send their 
men to the courts of the holders. I was privileged to 
accompany the English team and to witness the ties 
at Pittsburg, Boston, and New York. England had 
only won one Davis Cup match in America since the 
beginning of things and did not expect to win this one. 
Even less confident did we become when the war 
clouds gathered just after we landed and the enervating 
summer atmosphere of Eastern America was rendered 
less supportable by ominous rumour. My outward 
and home voyages were materially different. Going 
out in mid- July, Parke, Arthur Lowe, Kingscote, 
Mavrogordato and myself enjoyed the usual 
amenities of a crowded liner. I recall one incident 
of a pleasant trip. A daily paper containing the 
latest wirelessed news was published on board, and 
I arranged with the editor that he should announce 
the result of the first day's play between Australasia 
and Canada, decided at Chicago. The English team 
were to play the winners at Boston. The odds were 
at least five to two on Brookes beating R. B. Powell, 
and at dinner the night before I got Parke to lay me 
ten pounds to four on the Canadian's defeat. The 
next morning while I was reading on deck after break- 
fast, Arthur Lowe, a rather late riser, came up and 
wished me many happy returns. Then he added, 
" And I see you've won ten pounds from Parke a 
useful birthday present." I expressed incredulity; 
he suggested I should follow him to the saloon. 
There Parke, looking a little crestfallen, handed me 
two five-pound notes. Mavrogordato, Kingscote, and 
Lowe, together with some American sportsmen on 
board, were discussing the result. The intelligence 



138 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

was quite clear. Dated Chicago, July 23, the 
message ran : 

" Australasia began her match against Canada at 
the Onwentsia Country Club to-day in a temperature 
of 100 degrees. All the players were exhausted. 
Powell beat Brookes 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0. Wilding 
beat Schwengers 6-8, 7-5, 6-8, 9-7, 6-3." 

At dinner that night champagne was circulated at 
my expense. Then Parke and I divulged our con- 
spiracy. The figures were entirely fictitious. There 
had been no bet at all. As a fact, Brookes beat 
Powell with the loss of only four games in three sets 
and Wilding did not lose a set to Schwengers. 

Coming home, how different ! All was suspense, 
speculation, and foreboding! Doust and I stole out 
of New York harbour in the middle of the night, all 
lights out aboard. Our liner had but a handful of 
passengers. The U boats were yet to come, but the 
Karlsruhe was still at large, and we steered a southerly 
course on a lonely sea. We had no news of the war's 
progress during our crossing, and arrived at Liverpool 
to find the Germans in full cry for Paris. 

But to go back three weeks to the last lawn tennis 
match played by the Germans against the British Empire 
team. I arrived at the Allegheny Country Club at 
Sewickley, near Pittsburg, to find a very placid, un- 
warlike party. The luxurious club-house was chock- 
a-block, and it was only by the extreme courtesy of a 
member that I secured a bedroom. Froitzheim and 
Kreuzer seemed to be much in request as dancing 
partners. Brookes was training for the lawn tennis 
contest by playing golf. Wilding was investigating 
American motors. Everybody was asking questions 
about the situation in Europe ; nobody could supply 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 139 

definite information. The Germans even asked me 
whether they ought to play ! At that moment only 
Russia and France were regarded locally as her 
potential enemies. Froitzheim and Kreuzer were 
wondering how soon they would be required to don 
field grey. I referred them diplomatically to the 
German Consul. The local executive were in a 
dilemma. Barely more than a week had been given 
them to prepare for the match. The German team had 
come late into the competition after announcing their 
withdrawal, and it was only by the courtesy of Brookes, 
the Australasian captain, that the programme was 
reconstructed. Two match courts had been hurriedly 
prepared on the golf-course, stands had been erected, 
and lightning arrangements made to transport two 
thousand people out of town to a sequestered mountain 
outpost. If the match were cancelled many Americans 
would have been disappointed ; on the other hand, 
it was just possible Germany and Australasia would 
be at war before it was finished. Well, the match 
took place and nothing untoward happened, except 
that the attitude of the crowd showed a strong partiality 
for the Germans. I do not think the war rumours 
served up hot in the newspapers on the ground between 
the sets caused this prejudice, though they un- 
doubtedly increased the tension. What did affect the 
public was the extreme modesty of Froitzheim and 
Kreuzer, both on and off the court, and the natural 
desire of business men, who had purchased seats and 
travelled several miles to use them, to see a level match. 
Locally, too, I think the feeling prevailed that Brookes 
took the match too seriously. He was criticised when 
he would not permit Dunlop and Doust, his reserves, 
to pair up against the Germans in practice, and again 
when he asked the referee to remove Froitzheim from 



140 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

a seat beside the umpire's stand while Kreuzer was 
playing Wilding in the first single. The latter obj ection 
was upheld and I think rightly. A non-playing captain 
may exercise his privilege to sit within the precincts 
of the court, but he does not and would not offer any 
advice as to tactics ; he is there more in the capacity of 
a trainer. A playing captain should not converse with 
a member of his team during the progress of a match. 
At the same time, to be fair to Froitzheim, I do not 
think he had any intention to abuse his position. The 
Germans did not win a match. Kreuzer took a set 
from Brookes, and Froitzheim, leading 5-2 and 15-40 
on Brookes' s service in the opening set, had an easy 
chance to do the same thing. But the Australasians 
were never seriously threatened. Wilding won both 
his singles easily and the doubles was a hollow affair. 
Kreuzer was woefully uncertain off the ground. 
Froitzheim' s position on court was fatal to combined 
progress. 

Taking Niagara en route, I arrived at Boston for the 
British match against Australasia to find both teams 
somewhat out of heart. The heat was oppressive ; 
the war rumours scarcely less so. On furlough from 
the regular army, Kingscote got on board an American 
liner only to remain in harbour for two days. Eventu- 
ally he took train to New York and caught another 
vessel. It was felt that the match could only be 
played to fill in time before the English team left. 
Yet a large Boston crowd saw play of a strenuous 
character. Wilding had a tremendous third set of thirty 
games against Arthur Lowe before he could shake 
him off finally. Only once before (against Barrett 
at Wimbledon) had I seen Wilding so affected by the 
heat. If Lowe, driving with great resolution, could 
have come to the net when his opponent was almost 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 141 

in extremis, a very different result might have been 
recorded. I have already described the match between 
Parke and Brookes. The doubles was not a contest. 
Out of the first seventeen games the English pair only 
won one. A few of Mavrogordato's forehand drives 
found holes, his lobbing was good in the third set, but 
he had no volleying offensive, while Parke was in his 
wildest mood. They were a scratch pair, and a scratch 
pair completely off their game. Neither of the re- 
maining matches was played. 

I sometimes wonder how 13,000 people could have 
concentrated on the challenge round in New York when 
their thoughts were centred on the European conflagra- 
tion. The anxiety of the Australasian team was not 
lessened by the medley of reports circulated by the 
New York Press. I remember walking down Broad- 
way one night in mid-August and seeing placarded 
up across the whole fagade of a newspaper office : 
" Twelve British Cruisers Sunk/' A hundred yards 
farther on I read that the Emperor Francis Joseph of 
Austria had been assassinated. Going up to the roof 
garden at the Waldorf Astoria with Bobbie Powell, I 
asked an American journalist for further particulars. 
" Neither report," he said laconically, " is worth 
the electricity spent on it." And so it subsequently 
proved, but for the rest of our stay in America we 
never felt quite sure whether England had been sub- 
merged by an earthquake or not. No letters of credit 
were honoured ; nobody knew when a passage could 
be booked home. 

To divert our thoughts, we watched Brookes play 
McLoughlin in one of the most remarkable singles on 
record. It was a match so dominated by the service, 
yet containing many other good strokes, that for no 
less than thirty games in the first set neither man could 



142 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

" break through." Winning the toss and serving first, 
Brookes always held the lead ; at all costs, McLoughlin 
had to hold his own service games. Twice Brookes 
got to 15-40 in games which would have given him 
the set ; on both occasions the young Californian 
brought the score to deuce by services which beat his 
opponent outright. This was sheer spectacular tennis, 
dear to the hearts of the American " fans " ; despite 
the devitalising heat they cheered themselves hoarse. 
At last, in the thirty-first game, McLoughlin won 
Brookes's service after the Australian led 40-15, and 
then in the next game he went out with two masterly 
blows. Brookes told me afterwards that he had never 
served better in his life, but I doubt whether he 
showed quite the same speed of foot in coming in as 
in 1907, his first championship year at Wimbledon. 
The second and third sets were both well contested, 
but the end had been reached in the tremendous first. 
McLoughlin used the lob against a tiring man in the last 
few games. 

America lost the Davis Cup in 1914, but McLoughlin 
gained ineffaceable fame. Two days later he beat 
Wilding on the same court. A certain pathos will 
always be associated with the encounter. It was 
Wilding's last match in public ; McLoughlin was never 
the same player again. The Davis Cup issue had 
already been decided by the Australasian success in the 
doubles. It was an " extra turn," yet the win of the 
home player was well merited. He won the first two 
sets by superb aggression, lost the third in an inevit- 
able reaction ; then rested for seven minutes to renew 
a spirited and irresistible attack. The Wilding of 
Forest Hills, however, was not so well trained, morally 
and physically, as the Wilding of Wimbledon the 
previous year. Among the spectators was ex-President 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 143 

Roosevelt, a keen devotee of lawn tennis and the 
founder of the political coterie at the White House 
known as the " Tennis Cabinet." I shall always 
remember the ex-President's remark made in private 
conversation during the international match. Some- 
body said the war would be over before Christmas. 
" Which Christmas ? " he asked abruptly. He was 
under no delusions about the magnitude and duration 
of the struggle then launched. 

Roosevelt was so right that five years intervened 
before an international match was re-staged. It was 
appropriate that liberated Brussels should witness the 
resurrection of the Davis Cup. Here in July, 1919, 
France engaged the Belgians, who to celebrate their 
emancipation were the first to challenge. Our own 
Association might have preferred another year for 
recuperation. We could not stay out, however, if 
France and Belgium, more disorganised internally than 
ourselves, desired to renew the competition at once. 
The feature of the 1919 matches was England's victory 
at Deauville after France seemed certain of success. I 
never expect to see Kingscote play quite so well again 
as when he beat Gobert in three sets in the decisive tie. 
His passing shots were wonderful in their accuracy 
and variety. Against Australasia at Sydney neither 
Kingscote nor Lowe was quite equal to the task of 
beating Patterson, and with the doubles always a 
certainty for the home side the Davis Cup remained 
in Australia. The results of 1919 cannot be judged 
by ordinary standards ; the receding shadow was still 
too close. 

Elsewhere in this volume I have dwelt on the 
triumph of Tilden and Johnston in 1920 a triumph so 
conclusive that France, England, and Australasia were 
defeated successively without the loss of a single 



144 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

match. Three factors, I think, influenced the American 
success : their under-thirty vigour, the all-court 
qualities of their attack, the buoyant captaincy of Sam 
Hardy. Never was Davis Cup team so well equipped 
physically, temperamentally so efficient, . nor led so 
judiciously. I was thrown into close contact with 
Hardy's youthful band, played with and against all 
of them, and met them daily in private life. As sports- 
men they were all that sportsmen should be : quietly 
confident but never cocksure ; ever ready to praise the 
skill and fortitude of their opponents ; falling in 
loyally and to a man with their captain's arrangements. 

Both Tilden and Johnston had a great respect for 
Kingscote and Parke. They deemed Kingscote 
superior in all-round skill, Parke possessing slightly 
the better match temperament. Gobert they did not 
see at his best and accordingly could not judge him. 
For Brookes, Tilden always entertained the greatest 
veneration, a feeling that cannot have been modified 
as a result of the matches at Auckland a few months 
ago. The admiration is mutual. Brookes always 
thought Tilden the greatest player America has pro- 
duced a tougher nut to crack than Johnston. Tilden 
is certainly more resourceful and can be more brilliant ; 
his strategic coups would appeal to the kindred mind 
of Brookes. It remains to be seen and the interval 
since the war has been very short whether a counter 
can be found to his game. Johnston's sounder 
orthodoxy has provided it once, and either Johnston 
or somebody as good as Johnston may provide it 
again. 

America should keep the Davis Cup this year, but 
she may not necessarily keep it longer. Australia and 
South Africa, matchless in physique, have resources 
developing unknown to the outside world. Japan 



DAVIS CUP MATCHES 145 

is a new factor with rich potentialities. England has 
a quiet habit of getting something she covets. Only 
one thing is certain. The Davis Cup will continue 
to foster the keenest rivalry among the lawn tennis 
countries of the world. Maintained on its present 
high level of sportsmanship and goodwill, it cannot 
fail to develop and inspire the game. 



10 



CHAPTER IX 

UNDER COVER 

THOSE who play lawn tennis under a glass roof 
should not throw stones, but the prejudice 
of the indoor man in favour of his own court 
is excusable. To obtain the fullest enjoyment out 
of the game, to attempt to exploit it at its highest 
standard, favourable conditions are essential. The 
more lawn tennis is pursued the more this truth will be 
appreciated. The worst of our English summer is 
that it may change the quality of the court and there- 
fore the quality of the play with each successive week, 
sometimes with each successive day. The cultivation 
of good turf became a suspended art during the war 
and has barely recovered since. Really first-class grass 
courts are thus an extreme rarity. Even then their 
upkeep is a business requiring both brains and money. 
Failing the good grass court, which is to be pre- 
ferred above all others, one turns instinctively to the 
hard court of the Continental type. The non-turf 
court was not a novelty in England thirty years ago, 
but it is only in the last decade, since its construction 
has been carried out on systematic lines, that its real 
merits and its wide potentialities have been recognised. 
Most of the greatest players of the present century 
(the men and women of championship class, that is to 
say) have developed and in many cases acquired 
their skill on non-turf courts. It is quite obvious 
why this should be so. The bound on the non-turf 



UNDER COVER 147 

court, while itfmay vary according to the material 
employed, is uniform and tractable. Theoretically, 
the ball should behave in the same way on a grass 
court. In practice the bound varies with each turf ; 
the whole plane is exposed to the vagaries of the 
weather ; the average grass court has become the 
least reliable nursery. " Then why is it," I hear 
somebody ask, " that America and Australia, which 
use grass courts, have produced players so outstanding 
in merit ? " The answer is that in neither country is 
the climate or organisation of the game the same as our 
own. In America the " dirt " court has long supple- 
mented the turf court ; it is the natural surface in 
California, the home of McLoughlin and Johnston. 
Nor do tournament organisers in America attempt 
to play matches on rain-sodden courts ; they adjourn 
or even cancel them. The players of both countries, 
too, have concentrated more on service and volleying 
than on ground strokes. Their strokes are less affected 
by surface vagaries ; their success does not depend so 
much on driving accuracy and therefore on a de- 
pendable and gaugable bound. I do not mean, of 
course, that the play of Tilden, Johnston, and Brookes 
is not influenced by surface, that they are indifferent 
to its texture or speed. But the modern game which 
these men exploit is founded on attack, and that attack 
has the net as its battle-ground and the volley as its 
main weapon. To combat this aggression the base- 
line player must have a perfect court ; on any other 
he is hopelessly handicapped. If you examine the 
records of the centre court at Wimbledon or the east 
covered court at Queen's, you will find that the great 
back-court players have won their chief triumphs 
against volleyers on these floors, both of immutable 
strength and pace. 



148 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

My first experience of indoor play was enjoyed at 
Auteuil, on the courts of the famous T. C. P. By 
rising early under the whip of Charles Voigt, then 
manager of the Easter meeting, I succeeded, some 
twenty years ago, in winning the handicap singles. 
The feat was a modest one, but it required some hardi- 
hood. My matches were scheduled for eight in the 
morning, and in order to play them I had to rise in 
Paris by artificial light, board a workman's boat on 
the Seine, and, reaching the Club, be prepared, on an 
empty stomach, to run four or five miles in pursuit 
of balls hurled over with appropriate gesture by a 
Frenchman many years my senior. 

The game was less aggressive in those days and 
the coterie of first-class Englishmen who came over 
from Queen's were usually more than a match for the 
brilliant but somewhat erratic Parisians. Goodbody, 
G. M. Simond, Caridia, Ritchie, Hough, Mahony, and 
A. B. J. Norris made this annual Easter pilgrimage 
to Paris for several years. They were all sound 
players as well as students of form, and I do not doubt 
that their influence left its permanent mark on the 
game in France. I remember the great joy of the 
French when Max Decugis in 1903, I think it was 
first broke through this English ring and won not only 
the singles but the doubles as well. Max had been to 
school in England, and when only fifteen had won the 
Renshaw Cup for boys at Queen's, thereby gladdening 
the heart of his mentor, H. S. Mahony. Cowdrey, the 
present professional at Queen's, was a ball-boy on that 
auspicious occasion. Armed with a beautiful service, 
the perfect timing and vigour of which he reproduced 
in his smash, an artistically executed backhand, and 
volleying strokes of rare delicacy and finish, Decugis 
had, and still retains, a style upon which most of the 



UNDER COVER 149 

French players, consciously or unconsciously, founded 
their game. He was a spirited fighter, ever willing to 
move forward audaciously on the crest of good fortune, 
battling bravely against a mercurial temperament 
when his luck was out. If it be true, as I think it is, 
that the Easter tournaments at Auteuil gave France 
her first chance, as well as her first success, in inter- 
national lawn tennis, it is as well that the part played 
by the British visitors, their influence on Decugis and 
the latter's influence on French lawn tennis generally, 
should be recognised. 

The Tennis Club de Paris founded by the late 
M. Armand Masson and now controlled successfully by 
his son, Willie Masson has been the scene of many 
memorable matches. One particularly stands out in 
my memory. This was the final of the Easter meet- 
ing in 1911, when Wilding was beaten by Laurentz, a 
boy of sixteen. Wilding, then champion, had defeated 
Gobert, the conqueror of Decugis, in the semi-final 
and was expected to go forward to his goal comfort- 
ably. And perhaps in a good light he would have 
done. But the match was begun late, lasted two 
hours, and did not finish until nearly dusk, when 
neither the linesmen nor the players could see the lines 
clearly. Nevertheless Laurentz deserved great credit 
for his astonishing feat. He had lost the first two 
sets from four and was within a stroke of losing the 
match in the fourth set. A decision was given against 
Wilding which more than one onlooker regarded as 
faulty. Eventually, after a tremendous struggle, 
Laurentz won the bout at 13-11 and squared the 
match. In the final set Wilding led 3-2 and 4-3, but 
he was compelled by the sustained brilliancy of his 
opponent's attack to yield the set at 6-8. 

An unprecedented demonstration followed. The 



150 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

gallery went wild with ecstatic enthusiasm ; the young 
victor was kissed by his admirers. Wilding took his 
defeat quite philosophically. Finely as Laurentz 
served, audaciously as he volleyed, inspired as some 
of his best shots were, the impartial onlooker felt that 
his share of luck had been greater than his opponent's. 
A year later, when challenging Gobert for the national 
title at Neuilly, Laurentz met with a serious accident. 
One of Gobert's fastest services, bounding from the 
floor, flew off the edge of the receiver's racket into 
his left eye. The accident of course terminated the 
challenge round, Gobert then leading 4-2 in the first 
set. Subsequently the eye had to be removed. It 
was thought that Laurentz' s lawn tennis career would 
be closed, but he met his disaster with buoyant 
fortitude. Only last year I saw him win the hard 
court championship at St. Cloud by a fine win over 
Gobert, his first in Paris since the mishap ; and at 
Dulwich this year he played a faultless game against 
Beamish, whom he beat with the loss of only four games 
in three sets. Now and then he misses a volley on his 
blind side. Yet despite his handicap his instinctive 
genius has developed and the promise of his boyhood 
has been redeemed. 

Two other covered courts were added to Paris 
before the war the Lawn Tennis Club de France at 
Neuilly and the Sporting Club de Paris. The first, 
which was well equipped and had a good light and 
floor, has not yet been reopened. The Sporting Club 
de Paris is flourishing, and resumed its popular 
Christmas tournament after the war a meeting at 
which Jacques Brugnon, the new French champion, 
revealed his capacity a few months ago. The great 
advantage of these covered courts in Paris is that they 
incubate and foster new talent far more rapidly than 



UNDER COVER 151 

outdoor courts. The young player comes at once 
into an environment where hard hitting is the accepted 
gospel, where the inspiration first of Decugis, then of 
Gobert and Laurentz and now of Brugnon to say 
nothing of other first-class players stimulates their 
zeal and models their stroke production, and where, 
thanks to the communal spirit of France, there is a 
closer social intercourse among the members and in- 
evitably a greater encouragement to youthful promise. 
If Paris had possessed no covered courts France would 
probably have produced none of the great players of 
the present century, for though her summer outdoor 
clubs are increasingly well patronised and their hard 
courts excellent those at the Stade Frangais and at 
the Racing Club perhaps the best the real nurseries 
of skill are under cover. The highest art of France 
is expressed where neither wind nor rain nor other 
extraneous influence can impair a scientific display. 
It is this preference for indoor conditions which always 
handicaps the leading French players when they 
compete on English turf in summer ; the disadvantage 
can even be traced when they go to their own outdoor 
courts, more especially those near a wind-laden coast. 
I hope a French team will visit America this year, for 
they have something in the symmetry of their style 
and the delicacy of their touch to teach every foreign 
country ; but I doubt whether, temperamentally, they 
will do themselves justice under conditions which must 
be entirely novel. 

Lyons has a covered court with an asphalt floor 
painted green. Some of us used to break our journey 
back from the Riviera and, despite the sudden climatic 
change, thoroughly enjoy the open meeting held on 
this court in the spring. Wilding thrived on the 
surface and won the singles for four years without 



152 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

losing a set. In doubles, however, the New Zealander 
was less dominant. In 1907 he and Kenneth Powell, 
his Cambridge partner, fought five sets before winning 
the final against Germot and D. P. Rhodes (the latter 
a tall American volleyer, who once beat Gore at 
Queen's), and, four years later, Wilding and Craig 
Biddle encountered Count Salm and Robert Klein- 
schrott in a very aggressive mood and were defeated 
in a four-set match. 

Germany has a covered court at Bremen to which, 
before the war, Decugis paid a highly successful visit, 
winning all three championship events. Switzerland 
has excellent courts at St. Moritz (illuminated for 
evening play) and at Geneva ; but it is Stockholm 
with which, after Paris, English pilgrims are most 
familiar. The famous Royal Club, Idrottsparken, 
founded by King Gustav when Crown Prince and used 
by him regularly, was burnt down a year or two ago. 
I paid several visits to this hospitable court. On the 
first occasion there was only one other English player 
present, and we were immensely flattered by receiving 
an invitation to dine with the Crown Prince at the 
Castle. Our host was exceedingly gracious, and in 
addition to drinking our health in Swedish punch, 
gave us autograph portraits and made us honorary 
members of his Club. The King is an enthusiastic 
student of the game and a player well above the average. 
He won the doubles championship of Sweden with 
Gunnar Setter wall in 1906, and I dare say valued the 
distinction almost as highly as his crown. During the 
open tournament in May he did not miss an important 
match. Nor was he content merely to watch the 
play ; he discussed its points freely with the players 
and those whose opinions he valued. 

J. M. Flavelle and F. W. Payn both had their 



UNDER COVER 153 

names on the Stockholm Cup before Ritchie, by three 
successive victories, bore it off to London. Then 
W. Bostrom, who was at the Swedish Legation in 
London during the war, won the singles, to the great 
delight of the royal patron, whose private secretary 
he was at the time. Setterwall was champion for two 
years, to be followed by Kenneth Powell. Powell and 
Gore had come over together from Queen's. By the 
irony of fate Gore found himself drawn against Kenneth 
in the first round of the singles. The match had to 
be played almost as soon as both had set foot in 
Stockholm, and the youngster beat the man who was 
to win the championship at Wimbledon two months 
later. Gore consoled himself by winning the doubles 
with Powell as well as the handicap singles from 
owe 50. A. W. Dunlop, the Australian, was a subse- 
quent invader ; in addition to winning the singles and 
doubles championships he was in the final of both the 
handicap singles and handicap mixed, bearing off the 
second. 

When Mr. Grot built the Royal Club about twenty 
years ago he was faced with the difficulty of adequate 
lighting. Daylight in Sweden's winter is very precious, 
and every artifice must be adopted to preserve it. A 
glass roof was impossible, because the weight of snow 
would have broken it. Light through side windows 
was therefore necessary. But such an arrangement 
precluded parallel courts, as at Queen's ; the courts 
had to be placed end to end. The result was a re- 
stricted run-back on one of the courts a check to 
the runner in hot pursuit of a lob. Then the windows, 
while carefully designed and equipped with blinds 
which could be worked from below, did not run quite 
the whole length of each court ; they stopped just 
before the base-line and left that important position 



154 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

appreciably darker than the space in front The 
floor, considerably slower than Queen's, was varnished 
with a black paint, but the wear of footwork changed 
this staining to a brown tint about a yard behind 
the base-line a minor but nevertheless noteworthy 
defect. Constructed at a cost of about 200,000 krona, 
the courts were generously equipped, although the 
space for spectators, accommodated in a gallery 
between the two courts and at boxes at the sides, 
would not have been adequate for important matches 
in London or Paris. There were spacious dressing- 
rooms, fitted with hot and cold showers, and a good 
lounge. As a rule ball-boys were not employed, the 
Swedes, who allow themselves a generous supply of 
balls, having cultivated the useful knack, when the 
service changed, of running the balls against the 
skirting of the boxes, and so, by an angular passage, 
into the opposite court. When I was last in Stock- 
holm there were sixty members of the Royal Club, 
each of whom subscribed 125 krona a year. They had 
sole use of the courts between 3 and 6 p.m. At 
other hours non-members were admitted in payment 
of 3 krona per hour by daylight, or 6 krona per hour 
arc-lamp light. As a rule, during the winter months, 
the courts were occupied from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. 

No lawn tennis matches in Sweden ever attracted 
so much attention as the Olympic competition in 1912. 
The Royal Family were daily spectators ; the galleries 
and the columns of the newspapers were filled to over- 
flowing. I cannot recall any contests on which native 
votaries, from the King downwards, concentrated 
so much interest or displayed such a feverish anxiety 
to see every ball served. Sweden had been the only 
country, except England, represented in the first 
covered-court Olympic tournament held in London in 



UNDER COVER 155 

1908, and we returned this compliment by sending over 
a full team. France sent Gobert and Germot. Aus- 
tralasia was represented by Wilding. Bohemia and 
Denmark had envoys in court. It had been generally 
anticipated that the struggle for pride of place in 
singles would be between Wilding and Gobert, who 
had met a week earlier in the challenge round of the 
covered-court championship at Queen's, the Frenchman 
retaining his title after a memorable struggle. But the 
prophets were " dished/' A little below true form, 
endeavouring when off court to combine business 
with lawn tennis, Wilding was beaten in the semi-final 
by Dixon. " C. P." undoubtedly deserved to win on 
the day's play. In all departments he was more 
resourceful and more accurate than his opponent. 
Varying the strength and direction of his service so 
that its pitch was never stereotyped, he came to the 
net with complete success. His volleys were not 
severe, but they were so well controlled and placed 
that the champion seemed to be caught perpetually 
on the wrong foot. Wilding's attack on Dixon's 
backhand was met either with a magnificent toss or a 
sliced return which kept so low that Wilding could not 
operate his forehand drive to any good purpose. 
Vainly Wilding endeavoured to drive Dixon back by 
coming to the net himself ; the latter's passing shots 
were too good, and his adroit generalship, of which 
an attack on Wilding's backhand was the feature, 
usually ended in the champion retreating and Dixon 
gaining a winning position at the net. Dixon won the 
first set easily and lost the second after a struggle, but 
the third and fourth sets, though close, always gave 
me the impression that, unless his physical resources 
gave out, Dixon would win. I ought to add that Dixon 
had a narrow escape at the hands of Mavrogordato 



156 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

in the second round. With superior ground strokes, 
Mavrogordato was within a point of winning both the 
second and fourth sets. Dixon's service and volleying 
just got him through. 

Meantime Gobert had reached the final through 
Larsen, Kempe, and the brothers Lowe. Gobert had 
beaten Arthur Lowe so decisively the previous day that 
none of us expected him to be in peril against Gordon. 
Yet the match was the most protracted of the meeting, 
and there was a period at the close of the fourth set 
when it seemed that Gobert had become discouraged 
and that the Englishman's supreme steadiness and 
fortitude would prevail. Gobert elected to play Lowe 
with his own weapons a choice, tactically unsound, 
that increased Gordon's confidence and allowed him to 
pit his own base-line precision and length against the 
Frenchman's. I remember that the Englishman's 
service was exceptionally severe and well directed 
on many occasions he scored outright with his first 
delivery ; but it was the extra pace on his forehand 
and his fine retrieving which won him the third and 
fourth sets with a loss of only four games. In the 
final set Lowe was forced to slacken his pressure ; 
gaining a winning volleying position, Gobert captured 
it from two. 

The final round provided a great triumph for the 
Frenchman. Dixon played just as finely as he had 
done against Wilding, but on this memorable Sunday 
in Stockholm, when spectators were perched like birds 
on the rafters of the roof in order to witness the contest, 
Gobert was more than his match. He won in three 
sets after Dixon, taking the first seven points, had led 
3-1. The Frenchman's game was not entirely free 
from blemish. He served half a dozen double faults 
and two foot-faults ; he lost one service game to love. 



UNDER COVER 157 

But his ability to win games when games were really 
needed, his restraint at critical moments, his power of 
anticipating the best drives, and cutting them off with 
a delicate volley, the destructiveness of his smashing 
all these were virtues which, in combination, made the 
Frenchman's display wonderful. France also won the 
gold medals in doubles and deserved them. The 
Swedish couple, Setterwall and Kempe, had gained 
distinction by beating two of the English pairs (in 
each case after five sets), and in the final against Gobert 
and Germot they strove valiantly in one of the best 
matches seen under cover. In the end the French won 
by three sets to one, but the progress of each set 
was remarkably level. Probably the visitors' greater 
experience, especially of long matches, enabled them 
to bear the strain of a 26-game set with greater com- 
posure ; and since they won their service games more 
easily, they always carried a slight moral advantage. 
The fact that only five service games were sacrificed 
during the whole match testifies to the high standard of 
the tennis. 

I come now to Queen's, admittedly the world's 
headquarters of covered court lawn tennis. Queen's 
has other distinctive virtues besides the excellence of 
its three indoor courts. It is the traditional rendez- 
vous for players from every land, the place to which 
the stranger turns intuitively for welcome, the clear- 
ing-house for " form," and (may I add ?) the home of 
true sportsmen. The world without Queen's would 
be a very cheerless and inhospitable place a feeling 
which persists in spite of competition from clubs more 
luxuriously equipped and more salubriously situated. 
Other games are pursued there, great crowds gather to 
watch Inter- Varsity sports and football ; yet if you 
drop into Queen's on any day which is not dedicated 



158 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

to one of these great festivals, you will find more lawn- 
tennis-playing members than any other. There are 
grass courts and hard courts, and great pressure on 
both ; but it is the covered courts which have made 
the name and fame of Queen's. 

Queen's was not the first home of the covered court 
championship. That event was inaugurated at the 
Hyde Park Court the nursery of many fine players 
in 1885, its promoters having migrated from the first 
covered lawn tennis court of all, the asphalt court of 
the Maida Vale Club, formed on a transformed skating 
rink in the Portsdown Road. But for the past quarter 
of a century as far as my personal association with the 
game goes back Queen's has crowned the covered 
court champion. The entry has fluctuated in size and 
quality. In the early Hyde Park days the number of 
competitors was quite small even as few as three in 
1889 but the opening of the Queen's arena gave 
impetus to the indoor game. An autumn meeting 
(the London Covered Court Championships) was 
added to the programme in 1903, and in some years 
has proved an even greater attraction than the spring 
tournament. 

When I first went to Queen's the Dohertys were as 
victorious under cover as on the turf of Wimbledon. 
Reggie did not aspire to win the singles championship, 
but H. L. held that title for six successive years, 
retiring with it in 1906. The brothers were covered 
court doubles champions for seven years, but not 
in succession, for in 1904 and 1905 H. L. paired up 
with G. W. Hillyard. At the autumn meeting, R. F. 
partnered G. M. Simond for two years, on the second 
occasion the couple gaining a substantial victory over 
Brookes (then champion) and Hillyard in the final. 
This match emphasised the difference between the 



UNDER COVER 159 

complete armoury of R. F/s strokes and the distinctive 
weapons employed by the great Australian. The 
covered court with its unyielding floor placed Brookes 
at a disadvantage. The " work " on his service was 
moderated, but a more important factor the defen- 
sive character of his backhand off the floor was visible. 
On the other hand, the orthodox stroke production 
of R. F. was vindicated in every department. His 
perfect service length without break was just as 
effective as, and less tiring than, any American service ; 
his return of service on both wings was equally good ; 
he could make a winning volley from any position 
without undue strain. 

H. L. was never beaten at Wimbledon in singles 
during his championship reign, but he did not enjoy 
quite the same immunity at Queen's. Competing in 
the autumn meeting in 1904 his fourth indoor 
championship year he found Ritchie's blade, used at 
close quarters, unusually keen, and in the end, after 
an exciting struggle, the great little man went down. 
The same two players had met in the covered court 

(championship in the spring. Ritchie had then got 
very near to victory so near, indeed, that a certain 
line decision had a substantial bearing on the result ; 
but in October Ritchie volleyed more frequently and 
with greater severity than in May. The strange thing 
was that the victor did not win the tournament. Gore 
beat him in the next round, and then in the final Gore 
was overcome by Decugis. But of all the fine victories 
which Ritchie has won on the east court at Queen's 
during the past quarter of a century and his name 
appears on the singles and doubles panels eleven 
times I do not doubt he looks back with greatest 
pleasure on this one. 

The indoor championship meetings of 1911 and 



160 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

1912 were both memorable. At the first a foreign 
invader triumphed for the first time. Andre Gobert, 
a volatile youth of twenty with a wonderful service, 
had competed the previous year, coming within a 
stroke of beating F. G. Lowe, who subsequently won 
the title. But in 1911 Gobert was a vastly improved 
player, having gained in ground-stroke accuracy and 
restraint. He won both the singles and the doubles 
without the loss of a set almost a revolution in those 
days for a Frenchman. His service was so deadly 
that he only lost two service games in singles through- 
out the meeting. As one of his victims was Ritchie, 
who had beaten Wilding after five strenuous sets, this 
feat of a player of twenty-one was remarkable enough. 
Brilliant as his volleying was, his base-line play was 
also sound ; he had no need to come to the net except 
when, by his own good driving, he had opened up the 
court for a winning volley. 

Gobert has done many fine things in France and 
England and Sweden since his first championship year, 
but nothing was more gallant nor raised his reputation 
so high than his defence of the title against Wilding in 
1912. The champion of Wimbledon had not lost a 
set on his way to the champion of the covered courts, 
and when he had taken the first set from three and 
saved the second from 2-5, leading by two sets to love, 
the issue seemed assured. But the play had been 
tense and good all through, and I remember cogitating 
at the time on what would happen if Gobert con- 
quered his tendency to double fault and forced Wilding 
to meet the full blast of a consistent and accurate 
net attack. Well, the holder won the third and fourth 
sets by as brilliant a display of service and volleying 
as was ever seen at Queen's, and went on to establish a 
four-love lead in the fifth. Even then the match was 



UNDER COVER 161 

to provide a greater thrill. With splendid spirit and 
concentration Wilding pulled up to four-all. This 
was Gobert's supreme test of nerve. He surmounted 
it, and was thereafter stamped as a great player. 
Serving strongly, he won the ninth game and went 
out from 30 in the tenth. A week later, as I men- 
tion previously, he won the Olympic gold medal 
at Stockholm. 

Military training and then military service of the 
grimmest kind checked Gobert's lawn tennis career for 
seven years, but he came back to Queen's in 1920 and 
regained the championship with a display which had 
lost none of its brilliancy and probably gained a little 
by its tactical restraint. Of all the giants ever seen 
under cover at Queen's he must rank first. There 
have been more reliable ground-stroke players 
R. F. Doherty, H. L. Doherty, Wilding, and Ritchie 
but none of these players could command Gobert's 
deadly service or the decisive volleys which are the 
complement to his ground strokes. A wood floor is 
his natural surface, partly because its faster play does 
not give his opponents time to erect tactical defences 
to his attack a weakness on either wing, even a 
relative weakness, is fatal and partly because his 
perfect timing of the ball, essential alike for force and 
finesse, can be accomplished more confidently under 
traffic conditions which are familiar and staple. It 
cannot be claimed for Gobert, nor for any other great 
artist, that he has always shone. Influences beyond 
his control immoderate heat, or a bad line decision, 
for example may check and even thwart his pro- 
. gress ; like all Frenchmen he is susceptible to environ- 
ment and stimulated by success. But he has won 
too many uphill battles, some of them from desperate 
positions, not to be regarded as a cool and courageous 
ii 



162 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS ^ 

fighter, as one who has disciplined his mind as well^ 
as his strokes. 

No Australian has ever won the covered court 
singles championship; and the fact is, I think, an 
indication of where his strength lies and where his 
weakness as a player may be detected. The best 
Australian volleyers have not been able to defend 
their base securely against opponents who can force 
them back, nor who, by judicious service, can draw 
a defensive stroke from their weaker wing. Even in 
the first tournament season after the war, when many 
rackets were rusty and the standards upon which form 
was based had become faint and deceptive, this truth 
was revealed. Patterson was triumphant at Wimble- 
don and elsewhere, but in the more scientific test 
under cover at Queen's his limitations were seen. 
Thus did P. M. Davson, the champion of 1919, as he 
had been of 1913, demonstrate the superior value of 
all-round play over the specialist's art a vindication 
driven home more forcibly last year by Tilden and 
Johnston. 

Championship matches at Queen's may attract the 
attention of the outside world. It is the private 
match and the practice game which have made the 
Club what it is the finest nursery for talent in this 
country and a place to which all grades of devotees 
may go for recreation and intercourse with their 
fellow - sportsmen. It has been my privilege at 
Queen's to partner Mr. Balfour against the present 
Lord Chancellor and Mr. Bonar Law. During the 
dark days of the war, when every one worth his salt 
had his hand to the plough, members of the Cabinet 
found in half an hour's lawn tennis the only respite 
from anxious conference or weary toil. Mr. Balfour 
has been a disciple of the game for many years ; his 



UNDER COVER 168 

experience of varying courts is probably greater than 
any other Minister's. His style is that of a real 
tennis player ; he therefore uses an unorthodox grip 
and invests the ball with cut. Just before the war 
he won a prize deservedly in the handicap doubles at 
Nice, partnered by Anthony Wilding. When motoring 
to the Nice Club to play off one of his rounds, he was 
struck in the face by a stone cast by some unruly 
urchin. Mr. Balfour made light of his injury and 
would not hear of any postponement of 'the match. 
He is a charming partner and opponent, ever courteous 
to both ; as a student he brings to bear on the game 
the freshness of a versatile mind. Mr. Bonar Law, 
not less keen, can keep his end up in a private double 
with a shrewd regard for positional value. His forehand 
is not a vigorous stroke, but it is well placed. Lord 
Birkenhead would have to be heavily handicapped in 
any Ministerial tournament. He has often played 
in first-class company once with McLoughlin in 
America and is a gallant and untiring performer. 
When I have been lucky enough to be one of his 
guests at Charlton, his home near Oxford, or joined 
him on court at other private houses, he has always 
set the hottest pace, especially as a volleyer. His 
brother, Sir Harold Smith, may be more evenly 
equipped as a player ; you are more likely to be 
caught out strategically by the Lord Chancellor. 
Several other Ministers and I know not how many 
legislators in both houses wield the racket. Captain 
Frederick Guest (an incomparable host) has built 
himself a private court at Roehampton the first 
indoor court in England with an en-tout-cas floor. 
For a year or two Captain Guest rented Hartsbourne 
Manor, Miss Maxine Elliott's home at Bushey Heath, 
and to its beautifully equipped hard courts (on which 



164 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

Wilding used to practise) many an Allied soldier and 
sailor visiting this country was bidden for an hour's 
recreation during the war. Lawn tennis, indeed, 
proved a very useful link between the nations which 
pooled their manhood in a common cause ; it is an 
even stronger bond to-day. 

London has other indoor courts beside those at 
Queen's. The Covered Courts Club at Dulwich was 
requisitioned for war services and was not forgotten 
by enemy air raiders. It has recently revived its 
activities and increased its membership, catering for 
night players as well as day. To Dulwich, every other 
year, Paris sends her best team for the inter-capital 
match, a contest owing its conception to Mr. P. W. 
Rotham, for many years honorary secretary of the 
Surrey County Association. J. Brugnon, the present 
national champion of France, 1 rst appeared on covered 
courts in this country at Duly, ich. 

I confess to a great liking for the " Tennis Hall " 
at Craigside, Llandudno, the venue of the Welsh 
covered court championships in the autumn. Its 
surface is appreciably slower than the floor of Queen's 
and therefore not so embarrassing to the grass-court 
visitor. But it is the environment of Craigside, the 
vitalising virtues of the Little Orme, the salt-water 
baths of the hospitable hydro, and the cheery welcome 
accorded by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Munro which in 
combination make a strong appeal. Some excellent 
matches, with an articulate gallery, have been seen 
at Craigside. R. F. Doherty was one of its earliest 
patrons and won the singles for three years. Inci- 
dentally, he used to give prodigious odds in the handicap 
events and prove his extraordinary accuracy by 
winning them. George Caridia has been a competitor 
for twenty-one years, and on nine occasions has won 



UNDER COVER 165 

the cup. Last year, when his coming-of-age was 
celebrated, he made a gallant fight in the final. 
Mavrogordato has also been a familiar figure. Ireland 
is usually represented by players as skilful as they 
are genial. There are pleasing tournaments in many 
picturesque parts of the world, but none of the smaller 
kind has the same traditions or attracts the same 
goodly company year after year as Craigside. 



CHAPTER X 

THE LESSON OF MLLE LENGLEN 

WE have moved forward a long way since a 
former lady champion declared that the two 
games, that of men and that of women, " are 
absolutely different from one another and cannot in 
any way be compared in regard to skill or severity 
of strokes/' Mile Suzanne Lenglen, the present 
champion, may be a phenomenon to ordinary eyes. 
She is certainly not typical of the players of her own 
sex, but she remains a girl for all that, and the fact 
that she can now display as much skill as any man, and 
in variety of stroke and ease of execution is the equal 
to any male player now living, is a sufficient proof of 
feminine progress. Nor can it be said positively that 
this French girl has a capacity which cannot be 
acquired by those who have the same youth and 
enthusiasm and adopt the same methods of stroke 
culture and training. 

Mile Lenglen was delicate in her childhood and 
does not possess to-day a very robust constitution. 
She owes her supremacy not to any great bodily 
strength. She had, indeed, no physical advantages 
denied to others of her own age. Her parents pJayed 
lawn tennis and gave Suzanne a racket when^she was 
eleven years old. Soon she was playing with her 
father, showing a natural aptitude that induced Mr. 
Lenglen to teach her strokes in real earnest. After 
three months, despite a weak backhand, Suzanne 

166 



THE LESSON OF MLLE LENGLEN 167 

entered for the handicap singles at Chantilly, received 
half -thirty, and won the second prize. In two years 
she had won a level singles and at fourteen she partnered 
the late Captain Wilding in mixed doubles at Cannes. 
I chanced to be in the final of that event and so can 
testify to her ability. She seemed to stand little 
higher than her partner's waist and to be wielding 
a racket nearly as big as herself. What impressed 
me then, as it did again seven years later, when I 
partnered her at Mentone, was not so much her cer- 
tainty of return and her extraordinary accuracy in 
placing for one so young, but her activity in recover- 
ing the most distant balls. Her mobility was far 
greater than any lady player in this country. She did 
not run, but seemed to leap over the court, and so well 
controlled was her footwork that she could hit the 
ball at the end of her stride as firmly and as surely as 
if she were standing still ; she could recover balance 
and proceed to the next stroke without the slightest 
flurry or loss of breath. 

Mile Lenglen acquired this remarkable turn of 
speed by practising exclusively against men and 
men of the Continental hard-hitting type too. I 
believe this habit is the secret of Suzanne's present 
superiority over every other woman player in Europe 
to-day; Her victims play singles among themselves, 
and both the strokes and counter-strokes in these 
tournament matches become stereotyped. There is 
a monotony of play that checks any genuine 
advance, a consolidation of defects very difficult 
to loosen. 

It should be noted that Mile Lenglen has not done 
anything daringly novel in acquiring her strokes and 
developing her tactics by regular practice with men. 
Miss Lottie Dodd, who was lady champion thirty 



168 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

years ago, and almost as versatile as the present 
champion, learnt her game, as she learnt other games, 
in the company of men. Mrs. Sterry, another past 
champion, used to practise frequently with H. S. 
Mahony and other first-class men. Mrs. Lambert 
Chambers played many a private single, receiving 
points, against R. F. Doherty. But the difference 
between these ladies and Mile Lenglen, and the 
difference in their relative play to-day, is that the 
little French girl began her real development almost 
where the others left off. She had the further ad- 
vantage of playing systematically under consistent 
conditions and against players who had themselves 
absorbed the lessons of a past generation. 

A question often addressed to me on the Riviera 
last winter was : " Will Mile Lenglen ever be beaten 
by one of her own sex ? " I heard the subject dis- 
cussed on all sides: in the crowded tribunes at the 
Monte Carlo tournament ; off the courts in the cafes ; 
even in the feverish atmosphere of the gambling 
rooms. The champion had been through six or seven 
tournaments without losing a set, and, what was more 
significant, without the threatened loss of a set. 
Indeed, in no match in singles had she forfeited more 
than two games. On the other hand, she had won 
twenty love sets. Wonderful as her record was, if 
you consider that her opponents included the leading 
players of England and one of the leading players of 
America, it had its parallel in lawn tennis, though not 
in women's events. Wilding at the height of his 
Riviera power used to win his matches just as con- 
clusively, and so did H. L. Doherty before him, 
though neither was proof against reverse when out of 
condition. The simple fact was that Mile Lenglen 
stood in a class by herself, and therefore was just as 



THE LESSON OF MLLE LENGLEN 169 

likely to win a set without losing a game as Miss Ryan 
when opposed to a player in a lower class. 

But there was another reason why this little 
French artist won so consistently and with such a wide 
margin. Her style was the embodiment of ease and 
elegance ; she produced the maximum of power with 
the minimum of effort; while others strained and 
pressed to make their strokes she executed them as 
Nature ordained they should be made. Therefore she 
did not draw on her nervous energy like her rivals. 
She was always playing well within the limits of her 
physical resources. Before she is given another 
supreme test her last was at Wimbledon in 1919, 
and she has had none since some player must come 
forward who can tax her physically. It may be that 
France herself will provide such a competitor. I doubt 
whether England can just yet, because England has 
too many open tournaments, and the passion for play- 
ing in them to the detriment of stroke improvement is 
too deeply rooted. The American girl may, with her 
great competitive zest, anticipate us. But she has 
founded her game on college volleying, and her ground 
strokes are not at present deep enough nor secure 
enough to become really dangerous against Mile 
Lenglen. Moreover, the American girl, like the 
American man, has the national tendency to win 
quickly. She thinks of strokes before strategy. Mile 
Lenglen possesses all the strokes and can concentrate 
her whole mind on strategy. 

I consider her to be as much as half-fifteen better 
this year than last. She seems to vary her play, 
especially her ground-stroke play, much more. A 
striking example was her match against Mrs. Beamish 
on the Carlton courts at Cannes this year. Instead 
of driving deeply into the corners and making pace for 



170 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

her opponent, she used theshort diagonal stroke, pitching 
the ball on the side line just over the service line. The 
stroke drew Mrs. Beamish up the court and gave a 
much greater scoring power to the longer drive when 
it came. I am sure Mile Lenglen had altered her 
tactics deliberately. The change came as a great 
surprise to Mrs. Beamish. " Why did not somebody 
tell me she was not going to hit hard all the time ? " 
the English lady inquired afterwards. The reply 
might have been that Mile Lenglen was not disposed 
to shout her plan of campaign from the roof of 
the Carlton Hotel. Besides I suspect she was too 
much of an artist not to get a little tired of playing 
the same type of game always. If she cannot enjoy 
the novel experience of defeat, at least she must 
be allowed the diversion of winning in different ways. 

I have often been asked by irresponsible spectators 
why Mile Lenglen does not compete in the men's 
singles. Why should she ? That she would beat most 
of the men as easily as she beats all the women is certain, 
but she would not beat the very best men. If she 
attempted the task it is quite likely the strain would 
be sufficient to check her career. Nature has her 
ordinances and she does not like these to be abused. 
Mile Lenglen is not a professional player willing to 
exploit her powers for the highest stake. She is an 
amateur and rightly jealous of her amateur status. 
Her parents have shown excellent judgment in regard 
to her training. They are wise not to listen to these 
suggestions of test matches against men in public. 
The game would suffer, and in the end Mile Suzanne 
would suffer too. A private match is, of course, 
quite another matter. 

I have said that Mile Lenglen's supreme test was 
at Wimbledon in 1919. Who of the six thousand 



THE LESSON OF MLLE LENGLEN 171 

people present, from the King and Queen downwards, 
will ever forget that wonderful challenge round, the 
finest and most thrilling ladies' single ever seen on any 
court in the world ? The older men may have shed 
some of their speed and vision when they came again 
to the centre court after five years of war ; the younger 
men may not have served a full apprenticeship in the 
tactical school. But the two ladies who fought for the 
championship one the challenger, a girl of twenty, 
who was playing on a grass surface for the first time 
that year, the other, the holder, who, despite her long 
experience, had never before met such an active and 
versatile opponent revealed from the first game to the 
last an accuracy of stroke, a consistency of attack, 
and a tenacity of purpose that raised the standard of 
women's play to a height never before reached. The 
challenger won that contest and became the first 
Continental lady champion at Wimbledon, but the 
honours were divided. Mrs. Lambert Chambers, 
heroic in her defence all through, made her supreme 
effort in the final set. She was 4-1 down, a desperate 
position in all conscience after an exhausting struggle 
on a hot day. She reduced her opponent's lead* and 
at length, with both ladies playing superlatively fine 
tennis, reached 6-5 and 40-15. The excitement at 
that moment was intense. A supreme hush, so im- 
pressive when it engulfs large crowds, prevailed ; the 
agony of Monsieur and Madame Lenglen, who, through- 
out the encounter, had been gesticulating to their 
daughter from the stand, can be imagined ; I observed 
King George, his hat removed, straining forward in his 
seat in the committee box. Neither lady flinched ; 
the great feature of the match was that both hit con- 
fidently all through. But, as fortune would have it, 
Mile Lenglen, in winning the first of the two priceless 



172 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

strokes, made a " flukey " volley ; she was caught in a 
losing position and put her racket desperately in the 
way of the ball, which fell just out of the holder's reach. 
It was a lucky stroke, yet the wonder is, considering 
the length and strain of the match, more of its kind had 
not come before to one side or the other. Her second 
salving shot was a firm backhand winner down the 
line. She won with the score of 10-8, 4-6, 9-7 figures 
which ought to be engraved in the pavilion of the new 
Wimbledon. 

Last year when the two ladies met again in 
the challenge round, their roles of holder and 
challenger reversed, expectancy ran high, but the 
match was a disappointment. Physically Mrs. 
Chambers was not at her best and did not maintain 
anything like her driving length of the previous year. 
On the other hand, Mile Lenglen was stronger in every 
department ; she attacked at closer range and was more 
decisive on the volley as well as more circumspect in 
her strokes which preceded the " kill." At the end of 
the 1919 match one felt that the battle between the 
highest standard of British base-line play and the more 
advantageous all-court game of the young invader was 
indecisive ; it remained for the latter to strengthen 
her art. But at the end of the 1920 match it was clear 
that a new epoch in women's play had opened, that a 
higher standard of skill had been established ; in brief, 
that the old order had changed. 

I do not share the belief that Mile Lenglen is in- 
vincible, for the world is now a fairly large depository 
of lawn tennis talent, and the days when champions 
can reign supreme for a long sequence of years are 
probably over. But I am confident that the woman 
who is to beat her will have to be equally active and 
equally versatile, and that mere base-line strokes, 



THE LESSON OF MLLE LENGLEN 173 

however forceful, will not accomplish the task. Mean- 
time we may reflect that Mile Lenglen has won and 
retained her position without violating the salient 
principles, either in stroke production or strategy, 
upheld by the British masters of the past. She hits 
the ball with an open-faced racket without undercut 
or top ; the only stroke she has ever attempted to 
copy was the forehand drive of Wilding, and that she 
plays with less effort and more ease. She is, in fact, 
an orthodox player of the Doherty school, reaching 
the ball by sound footwork, hitting it with natural 
grace, and controlling its direction with an instinctive 
regard for the next positional move. 

The lesson which Mile Lenglen would appear to 
teach lawn tennis players of both sexes for faults 
are common to both, though they may be concealed 
in one sex more than the other is that no player can 
express the art of the game in its highest form unless 
the stroke equipment is complete. Departmental 
efficiency or even superiority is not enough ; it will be 
countered and its limitations exposed by an opponent 
who possesses all-round strength. Twenty years ago, 
when I first took an intimate interest in lawn tennis, 
there were not nearly so many open tournaments in 
this country. The standard of play, nevertheless, 
was higher in both sexes not at the very top nor 
at the bottom of the ladder, but among those who could 
be described as first-class or near it. The reason was, 
I think, that during the intervals between tourna- 
ments, to the benefit of their play when they entered 
the lists, men and women engaged in private matches. 
They played without the bustle and strain of public 
competitions ; a higher quality of stroke was extracted 
because the sides were more evenly balanced ; time 
was not occupied, as it is to-day, by tournament ties, 



174 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 

which by reason of their inequality must weaken 
rather than brace up the superior side. 

In America, as I have intimated before, tournament 
organisation produces different results, partly because 
the supply of young players is larger, progress 
swifter and new blood reveals itself more regularly, and 
partly because the governing body favours certain 
invitation tournaments at which players of recognised 
ability alone compete. The invitation tournament 
might well be systematised in this country. Many 
clubs rely on the proceeds from their annual gate to 
recoup their exchequer and to carry out necessary 
extensions ; they would lose nothing but probably 
gain a good deal by arranging a first-class programme 
daily. The benefit to the better players would be 
undeniable ; they would not be given the oppor- 
tunity to reduce the standard of their game. I am 
not suggesting that handicap events, which form the 
backbone of many holiday tournaments, should be 
curtailed. These are rightly open to all classes, and 
may be divided into sections in order to allow the 
adjustment of odds to be performed by a conscientious 
handicapper with some measure of equity. But talent 
does not develop very quickly in handicap events ; 
it will develop more slowly still as the flood of entries 
rises. When the player of promise has reached a 
certain standard, it should be the business of the 
organisers to invite him or her to compete in a restricted 
level event. The old theory that champions are only 
made by rich parents and ten years' apprenticeship 
has been falsified by Mile Lenglen and by several 
Americans. Boys and girls of the right physique and 
temperament (and both are improved by playing lawn 
tennis) may become champions if they produce their 
strokes correctly by private instruction, practise each 



THE LESSON OF MLLE LENGLEN 175 

and every stroke in turn until all can be performed 
with equal facility, and regard tournaments as trials 
of strength already acquired. 

England may not have won the championship for 
a dozen years ; but it was her champions of the past 
who, by their skill and fortitude at home no less than 
by their missionary zeal abroad, inspired the players 
of other lands. I regard the competition of these 
oversea invaders as the greatest possible tribute the 
world could pay to a pastime invented by this country. 
It means that lawn tennis, alone among British sports, 
is the world's game. It also means that England will 
belie her history and Wimbledon its traditions if the 
leadership is not regained. 



INDEX 



Alexander, F. B., 71, 127 
All England Club, i, 6, 90 
Allegheny Country Club, 138 
Allen, C. G., 45, 50, 79 

E. R., 45, 47, 50, 78 

Rev. H. B., 78 
Aliens, the, 50, 78 
Alonso, M., 60 
Ambrose, C., 52 

America, 28, 103, 136, 147, 151, 169, 

I 74 

American championships, 8, 28, 109 
Americans at Wimbledon, 4, 27, 29, 

3i 33. i3> "5. 121, 131, 134 

and Davis Cup, 10, 12, 21, 105 
Antwerp, 62 

Aspinall, Mr., 94 

Atkinson, H. E., 81 

Auckland, N.Z., 144 

Australasia, 4, 124, 126, 136, 139, 155 

American players in, 126 
Australasians at Wimbledon, 4, 25, 

33, 124 

Australia, 26, 58, 104, 119, 128, 143 
Austria, 63 
Auteuil, 148 

Baddeley, W., 4, 5 

Baden-Baden, 63 

Balfour, Mr. A. J., 27, 81, 162 

Ball-Greene, G. C., 5, 50, 76 

Barcelona, 61 

Barlow, H. S., 37 

Barrett, H. Roper, 12, 15, 18, 25, 28, 

37. 39. 47. 5. 56, 119. 126, I34> 

140 

Base-line players, 147 
Battersea Park, 41 
Beamish, Mrs., 169 

A. E., 43, 44, 85, 87, 92, 95, 101, 

129, 150 
Beaulieu, 82 

Beau Site, Cannes, 72, 75, 80 
Beckenham, 35, 37 
Behr, K., 24, 125 
Belgium, 61, 67, 104, 118, 143 
Beloit, U.S.A., 108 
Bersey, W. C., 39 
Biarritz, 54 
Biddle, Craig, 152 
Birkenhead, Lord, 163 
Bissing, Baron von, 60 

12 



Black, E. D., 119 

Blackboard, C. R., 60 

Blackmore, S. Powell, 52 

Blanc, M., 68 

Bloemfontein, 92 

Bonar Law, Mr., 162 

Bordighera, 81 

Borman, P. de, 63 

Boston, U.S.A., 13, 24, 28, 129, 137, 

140 

Bostrom, W., 153 
Bostwick, A. C., 73 
Boucher, J. M., 45 
Boulogne, 54 
Bourke, H. L., 52 
Bournemouth, 50 
Bremen, 152 
Brighton, 46 
Bristol, 48 

courts, Beaulieu, 82 

Brookes, N. E., 2, 8, 9, 13, 18, 23, 
25, 28, 33, 36, 78, 103, 104, 112, 
114, 122, 127, 129, 137, 141, 147. 

Brown, E. A., 46 
Brugnon, J., 150, 164 
Brussels, 62, 143 
Budapest, 64 
Bulawayo, 93 
Bundy, T. C., 114 
Burke, Tom, 80 
Burrow, F. R., 46, 49 
Buxton, 44 

Cambridge, 5, 39, 75, 122 
Canada, 90, 132, 133, 137 
Cannes, 67, 74, 76, 80, 92, 167 

Club, 81 

Cape Town, 89, 90, 93, 95, 100, 165 

Caridia, G. A., 9, 165 

Carlton courts, Cannes, 81, 169 

Carpentier, 51 

Casdagli, X. E., 44 

Centre court, the, 4, 9, 14, 147 

Chambers, Mrs. Lambert, 36, 43, 

168, 171 

Championships, the, 3, 33, 175 
Chicago, 1 08, 137 
Chiswick Park, 35 
Christchurch, N.Z., 129 
Churchill, Mr. Harry, 34 
Clarke brothers, 29 



178 TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 



Clothier, W. J., 30, 121 
Cockran, F. E., 86, 101 
Connaught, Duke of, 90 
Continent, lawn tennis on the, 53 
Covered courts, 146 

championships, 28, 158 

Cowdrey, 148 
Craigside, 164 
Crawford, F. R. L., 47, 48 
Crawley, A. E., 52 
Cricket and lawn tennis, 3 
Crowther-Smith, H. F., 52 
Croydon, East, 40 
Crystal Palace, 164 

Davis (S.A.), 99 

Cup, 10, 16, 21, 28, 56, 86, 103, 

118 

Dwight F., 12, 103, 118 
Davson, P. M., 28, 56 
Deauville, 54, 143 

De Beers mines, 100 

Decugis, M., 60, 76, 77, 148, 152, 159 

Denmark, 155 

De Villiers, 86 

Devonshire Park, Eastbourne, 18 

Diemerkool, 62 

Dieppe, 54 

Dinard, 54 

Dixon, C. P., 15, 21, 36, 48, 85, 90, 

95, 129, 134. 155 
Doherty, H. L., 7, 9, n, 13, 16, 24, 

37, 7. 75. "5. "I, 12 3. 158, 168 

R. F., 4, 7, 13, 70, 76, 82, 90, 116, 

I2i, 123, 158, 164, 168 
Dohertys, the, 4, 5, 12, 18, 27, 33, 38, 

69, 75, 76, 81, 115, 120, 123, 158 
Dodd, G H., 101 

Miss L., 167 

Doust, S. N., 28, 43, 47, in, 138, 139 

Drabble, G. C., 49 

Drive Club, the, 41 

Duckworth, Mr. J., 42 

Dulwich, 150, 164 

Dunlop, A. W., in, 123, 129, 139, 153 

Durban, 89, 93 

Dwight, Dr. J., 30, 67 

Eastbourne, 17, 46 

Eaves, W. V., 9, 23, 46, 50, 54, 68, 

76,84 

Edgbaston, 8, 18, 43 
Edward, King, 38, 81 
Elgood, C. A., 37 
Elliott, Miss Maxine, 163 
Escombe, L. H., 84 
Evelegh, B. C., 38, 45, 49 
Exmouth, 48 

Fenner's, 27 



Field, 49 

Fisher, F. M. B., 35 
Flavelle, J. M., 5, 132, 152 
Fleming, Tom, 80 
Folkestone, 16, 47 
Forest Hills, New York, 3, 109, 142 
France, 53, 56, 66, 104, 118, 143, 149, 
157 

at Wimbledon, 4, 16, 33 
Froitzheim, O., 59, 63, 132, 138 

Garfit, Miss, 44 

Garland, C. S., 30, 44, 104 

Gauntlett, V. R., 101 

Geneva, 65, 152 

George, King, 171 

German players, 60, 63, 66, 76, 81 

132, 138 

Germans at Wimbledon, 33 
Germot, M., 60, 152, 155 
Gipsy Club, 39 
Gobert, A. H., 16, 27, 28, 35, 53, 55, 

59, 62, 104, 143, 144, 149, 155, 

1 60 

Goodbody, M. F., 149 
Gore, A. W., 7, 9, 14, 18, 22, 24, 

47, 119, 126, 152, 153, 159 
Graham-White, Mr., 41 
Greene, Miss A. N. G., 73 
Greville, G., 24, 36 
Groote Schuur, 99 
Guest, Captain Frederick, 163 
Gustav, King, 81, 152 

Hackett, H. H., 21, 133, 134 
Hamilton, W. J., 4 
Hampton, G. C., 40 

J. L., 40 
Hardy, S., 144 
Hartsbourne Manor, 163 
Havre, 34 

Heath, R. W., 129 

Hendon, 41 

Hillyard, G. W., 3, 7, 9, 24, 50, 70, 

84, 113, 158 
Holland, 62, 118 
Homburg, 63, 75 
Hopwood, Lord, 91 
Hough, R. B., 148 
Howard, Hon. Mrs. Geoffrey, 96 
Hyde Park Club, 158 
Hyeres, 81 
Hythe, 47 

India, 118 
Ireland, 4, 165 
Italy, 65 

Jacob, S. M., 87 

Japan, 4, 30, 38, 39, 62, 118, 144 



INDEX 



179 



Joannis, M., 58 

Johannesburg, 3, 86, 89, 93, 100, 101 

Johnston, W. M., 4, n, 14, 1 8, 30, 38, 

103, 107, 112, 115, 136, 143, 144 

Kempe, C., 156, 157 
Kimberley, 90, 92, 100 
King, Lionel, 46 

Kingscote. A. R. F., 28, 30, 37, 47, 
56, 62, 65, 104, 137, 140, 143, 144 
Kinzl, R., 60, 64, 122 
Kissengen, 64 
Kitson, H. A., 101 
Kleinschroth, H., 60, 79, 133 

R., 60, 79, 152 
Kreuzer, O., 133, 138 
Kumagae, I., 62 

La Festa courts, 74 

Ladies' play, 112, 167 

Ladysmith, 93 

Larcombe, D. R., 51 

- Mrs., 43, 51 

Larned, W. A., 8, 10, 30, 86, 114, 115, 

120, 129 
Larsen, E., 156 
Latham, G. C., 97 
Laurentz, W. H., 56, 60, 104, 149 
Lausanne, 65 
Lawford, H. F., 2, 80 
Lawn Tennis Association, 32 

growth of, 34, 1 08 

Leamington, 44 

Leicester, 14, 44, 50 

Lenglen, M. Chas., 67, 166, 171 

Mile, 4, 33, 52, 59, 62, 67, 69, 74, 

80, 1 66 

Lersner, Baron von, 64 
Le Touquet, 54 
Lille, 54 

Little, R. D., 10, 18, 123 
Liverpool, 42, 138 
Livingstone, 97 
Llandudno, 164 
London championships, 38 

Country Club, 41 
Long, Melville, 128 

Lowe, A. H., 137, 140, 143, 156 

F. G., 36, 39, 62, 65, 78, 86, 88, 

92, 95, 101, 129, 156, 160 
Lyons, 151 

McDonald, H. R., 52 
McKane, Miss K., 62 
McLoughlin, M. E., 3, 18, 21, 26, 30, 

33, 43, i3, 107, IJ 4, I2I > I28 
131, 132, 134, 141, 147, 163 

McNair, Mrs, 62 

Mahony, H. S., 24, 37, 148 

Maida Vale Club, 158 



Manchester, 42, 90 
Margate, 47 
Marienbad, 64 
Marriott, C., 51 
Martin, Miss L. t 43 
Mavrogordato, E. E., 52 

T. M., 28, 34, 43, 47, 78, 137, 141, 

165 

Meers, E. G., 13 

Melbourne, 9, 28, 122, 127, 129, 136 
Mentone, 65, 68, 74, 79, 167 
Methuen, F. M. Lord, 85, 95 
Michael, Grand Duke, 81 
Milford, H. S., 40 
Mishu, N., 40, 64 
Monaco, 74 

Monte Carlo, 8, 24, 68, 71, 75, 168 
Morton, Miss A. M., 39 
Munro, R., 164 

Napoleon, 80 
Neuilly, 150 
Net-cord strokes, 7 
Newcastle, 18, 43 
Newport, Mon., 18, 44, 86 

U.S.A., 8, no 

New York, 30, 86, 107, 136, 141 

Zealand, 35, 104, 119, 126 
Nice, 13, 67, 71, 74, 75 

Club, 67, 73, 163 
Nisbet, H. A., 12, 22 
Norris, A. B. J., 148 
Northern Championships, 17, 42 
Norton, B. I. C., 47 
Norwood, 20, 39 
Nottingham, 44, 50, 132 

Olympic Games, 62, 154 
Ostend, 62 

Paris, 27, 54, 64, 138, 148 

Parke, J. C., 13, 43, 104, 112, 129, 

134, 137, 141 
Patterson, G. L., 3, 18, 19, 27, 36, 40, 

62, 104, 143 
Payn, F. W., 152 
Pearce, Dr. F. H., 113 
Pirn, J., 4, 5, 46, 120, 129 
Pittsburg, U.S.A., 137 
Port Elizabeth, 92, 94 
Powell, K., 27, 39, 152, 153 

R. B., 34, 43, 54, 7, $5, 89, 95, 

in, 133, 137, 141 
Prebble, A. D., 48 
Press and lawn tennis, 51 
Pretoria, 93, 95 
Price, Hamilton, 52 
Punch, 52 

Qa Kamba Club, 86 



180 



TWENTY YEARS OF LAWN TENNIS 



Queen's, 4, 20, 24, 35, 38, 56, 71, 147, 

154. 157 
Queenstown, 94 

Racing Club, Paris, 151 

Rahe, F. W., 60, 78, 80, 133 

Raymond, L., 43, 62 

Renshaw Cup, 148 

Renshaws, the, 2, 4, 18, 67, 74, 80 

Rhodes, Cecil, 99 

D. P., 78, 152 
Rhodesia, 66, 97, 100 
Ridding, C. H., 82 
Rieck, Frl., 74 

Riseley, F. L., 9, 12, 13, 14, 23, 43, 

69, 124 

Ritchie, M. J. G., 13, 15, 24, 28, 36, 

70. 7L 75. 83, 148, 153, 159 
Riviera, the, 55, 66 
Rochester, U.S.A., 108 
Roehampton, 40, 163 

Rome, 65 
Rondesbosch, 90 
Roosevelt, President, 143 
Rootham, P. W., 164 
Rowan, Dr., 91 
Royal Club, Stockholm, 152 
Russia, 67 
Ryan, Miss, 169 

St. Cloud, 3, 57, 65, 109, 150 

St. Moritz, 65 

Salisbury, S.A., 93 

Salm, Count, 40, 64, 79, 152 

San Francisco, 41, 107, 129 

San Remo, 74, 81 

Saxmundham, 50 

Scarborough, 43 

Scheveningen, 5 

Schools, lawn tennis in, 42, 174 

Schulenburg, Countess, 73 

Schwengers, B. P., 133, 138 

Scotland, 90 

Scrivener, H. S., 49, 52 

Setter wall, G., 152, 157 

Shimidzu, Z., 30, 38, 60 

Simond, G. M., 22, 58, 74, 78, 82, 148, 

158 
Smith, S. H., 9, 12, 13, 16, 23, 24, 36, 

43. 45. 50, 69, 112, 120, 124 

Sir Harold, 163 

South Africa, 6, 60, 62, 84, 119, 144 
South of England Championships, 46 
Spain, 61, 65, 67, 118 
Sporting Club de Paris, 150 
Steevens, G. W., 93 
Sterry, A., 36 

Mrs., 36, 43, 44, 168 



Stockholm, 54, 152, 161 

Stutterheim, 98 

Surbiton, 28, 35 

Sutton, Miss M., 43 

Sweden, 65, 81, 152* 160 

Switzerland, 65, 152 

Sydney, N.S.W., 28, 128, 129, 143 

" Tennis Cabinet," 143 

Tennis Club de Paris, 148 

Thomas, R. V., 29 

Tilden, W. T., 3, 4, 8, n, 14, 18, 29, 

30, 38, 44, 52, 103, 112, 115, 121, 

129, 136, 143, 162 
Timmis, E. W., 113 
Tournaments in Great Britain, 32 
Tripp, Miss J., 73 
Turnbull, O. G. N., 47, 62 

Umpiring, 113 

Vanderbilt, Mr., 77 
Victoria Falls, 87, 93, 97 
Vienna, 64 

Voigt, C. A., 63, 68, 70, 148 
Volleying, value of, 23 

Wallace, Mr. A. L., 97 

Wanderers' Club, Johannesburg, 3, 

86, 101 
War, effect on lawn tennis, 2, 20, 27, 

32, 54, 63, 104, 146, 164 
Ward, Holcombe, 10, 12, 18, 30, 115, 

120 

Webster, Tom, 52 
Wesseley, C. von, 60, 64, 122 
West Side Club, New York, no 
Whitman, M. D., 8 
Wilding, A. F., 2, 3, 8, 10, 13, 16, 18, 

23. 25, 27, 35, 39, 43, 55, 59, 63, 

74, 75, 82, 103, 114, 116, 122, 

125, 127, 134, 140, 149, 151, 155, 

160, 163, 167, 173 
Williams, R. N., 24, 30, 65, 103, 133, 

X 34 
Wimbledon, r, 12, 53, 58, 61, 64, 65, 

103, 109, 121, 124, 131, 175 
Winslow, C. L., 44, 88 
Wood, A. O'Hara, 104 

P. O'Hara, 29 
Woosnam, M., 47, 62 
Worthing, 47 
Wrenn, R. D., 30 

Wright, Beals, n, 24, 30, 37, 75, 115, 
120, 122, 125, 129 

Irving, 75, 77 

Zambesi, the, 87, 93, 97 
Zerlendi, A., 63 



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